Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Miners Buoy the Footsie as Punters Plough Even More Money into Gold; MARKET ROUND-UP

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Miners Buoy the Footsie as Punters Plough Even More Money into Gold; MARKET ROUND-UP

Article excerpt

Byline: Mickey Clark

LEADING shares were being squeezed higher again in thin trading on the London stock market today. The FTSE 100 index was back on course as it nudged towards the 5400 level, posting a rise of 36.35 at 5360.31.

Once again it was being supported by strong showing by the miners and the banks.

Lloyds Banking Group continued to attract support in the wake of publishing the terms of its heavily discounted [pounds sterling]13.5 billion rights issue. The shares responded with a rise of 1.33p to 95.14p. The new shares are being issued at 37p.

The gold price extended this week's record breaking run as it traded above the $1178 an ounce level, stretching its rise since the start of the month to 13%. Investors are continuing to plough cash into the precious metal as they take advantage of a weak dollar in the short term amid fears that the US recovery might have stalled. There are also signs that the price is being held up by India which has indicated that it will continue adding to the 200 tonnes that it recently bought.

Not surprisingly, Randgold Resources responded positively to the hike in gold's price, trading near the top of the leaderboard rising 145p to 5185p. It was closely followed by Anglo American, 79p higher at 2696p, and Xstrata, up 30p at 1112p. Other miners to go better included platinum producer Lonmin, up 47p at 1802p, and Kazakhmys 33p better at 1314p.

United Utilities, down 41/4p at 4821/4p, is the latest water supplier to blame the recession for a drop off in demand as it struggled to make headway during the first six months of the year. The UK's biggest water supplier is focused in the flood-hit North-West and saw underlying operating profits advance only 1% to [pounds sterling]369.9 million. Rivals Severn Trent, up 171/2p at 9861/2p, and Northumbrian Water, a tad firmer at 253p, have already complained this week about the impact the recession is having on water demand among its business users. …

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