The FTSE 100 Index made modest gains today, adding 17.5 points to 5,794.8, following yesterday’s 2% surge in the wake of the European Central Bank’s move to offer unlimited funds to lower debt-ridden countries’ borrowing costs.
Commodities giant Glencore was the biggest faller on London’s leading shares index however, after being forced to raise its offer for Xstrata to keep hopes of a £56billion merger alive.
Glencore fell 4%, or 14.3p, to 378.1p after it upped its bid to 3.05 shares for every Xstrata share, 9% higher than its previous offer of 2.8 shares, after some of its target’s biggest investors threatened to vote down the deal. Xstrata saw its shares rise 4%, or 35p to £10.14.
Other miners, as well as bankers, continued to take heart from ECB boss Mario Draghi’s plans to buy bonds to take the pressure off struggling nations such as Spain and Italy, giving them more breathing space to repair their finances.
Evraz was top of the London market, adding 15% or 33.7p to 260.4p, while Barclays jumped 13.4p to 206.4p.
The biggest Footsie risers included Kazakhmys ahead 58.5p at 657.5p, Eurasian Natural Resources up 27.8p at 338.7p and Anglo American ahead 132p at 1,972.5p.
Among the biggest Footsie fallers were Diageo off 62.5p or £17.02, Imperial Tobacco down 82p at £22.62, and SAB Miller off 79p at 2,762.5p.
Barry Shepherd, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted that risers included FirstGroup which added 2.4% to 251.05p, Wood Group rose 2.7% to 850.25p and Hunting closed 8% higher at 867.25p.
Fallers included SSE, which lost 1.2% at £13.58, whilst Stagecoach fell 1.4% to 291.05p.