Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Footsie Rises at a Leisurely Pace as Punters Take Profits from Miners; MARKET ROUND-UP

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Footsie Rises at a Leisurely Pace as Punters Take Profits from Miners; MARKET ROUND-UP

Article excerpt

Byline: Mickey Clark

SHARES continued to trade at a new 13-month higher today, but their progress was being achieved at a more leisurely pace as some investors took advantage of yesterday's gains to take profits among the miners.

The FTSe 100 index rose a tad to 1.24 at 5257.34.

On the currency markets the dollar continued to lose ground, dropping to a 14-month low against the euro. Those investors who sought the dollar as a refuge are now looking elsewhere to invest their money for better returns.

Profit-taking left Vedanta Resources 43p lower at 2346p and Fresnillo 121/2p cheaper at 8373/4p. Speculators are asking themselves will Xstrata, up 10p at 1042p, turn its fire power on Lonmin, down 3p at 1743p, now it has dropped plans for a merger with Anglo American, down 61p at 22491/2p? Credit Suisse does not seem to think so. It has a sell rating on Lonmin despite the platinum producer's positive comments at its annual market seminar. The broker says the operating environment in South africa with safety stoppages and a stubbornly strong operating currency could result in increased costs and impact on production volumes. "In this environment, Lonmin's operational turnaround may take longer than the market expects", it says.

Trading conditions remain difficult for brewer SABMiller, down 22p at 1609p. Lager volumes for the first six months, on an organic basis, declined by 1% compared with the previous year, while soft drinks volumes were 1% ahead. Group revenue was supported by price increases taken last year.

The group said its financial performance was in line with its own expectations. Brewer Marston's says sales over the past six months are running pretty much even-stevens against the same time a year ago -- not bad given the changed economic environment. analysts applauded its guidance that it was comfortable" with their current fullyear profit forecasts. The shares, which have flattened somewhat since September's 110p, today were treading water at 93. …

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