European markets split with French CAC and German DAX up but Spanish IBEX and Italian FTSE MIB down
The panic of last week, which sent the FTSE 100 down to a five-month low, was replaced by caution and intrigue today as the stock market of leading shares closed up 36 points at 5304.
The G8 leaders’ call for Greece to stay in the eurozone soothed fears of the country’s imminent exit and appears to have steadied the market – albeit temporarily.
The problems are far from over and the reaction from the markets to this Wednesday’s meeting of leaders in Brussels will be one to watch.
The German DAX and French CAC were both up 59 and 19 points respectively, at 6331 and 3027, while the Spanish IBEX and Italian FTSE MIB both dropped slightly – 42 points and 36 points respectively to 6524 and 13012.
With a lull in the political arena it was left to India-focused mining company Vedanta Resources to steal top place of the biggest risers on the FTSE 100.
The company’s shares were up 49.5p to £10.05, a rise of 5.16%, thanks to a jump in copper prices.
But precious metals suffered in equal measure, leaving miner Fresnillo the biggest faller, dropping 39p to £13.44, a fall of 2.9%. Randgold was also affected, dropping in early trading, to recover and close up 39p, or 0.8%, at £48.39.
Gold and silver prices both fell, with traders waiting to see where the eurozone lurches next, although polls are now suggesting pro-austerity parties could get enough votes for a coalition in Greece’s newest election on June 17.
Other strong performers in the FTSE 100 included Man Group, closing up 3.5p, or 4.7%, at 78.4p, following its purchase of investment group Financial Risk Management.
While banks Royal Bank of Scotland (up 0.8p, or 4%, to 20.3p) and Standard Chartered (up 42p, or 3.3%, to £13.14) were both strong risers.
It is worth remembering the taxpayer-controlled RBS did suffer badly last week though.
In the FTSE 250 the biggest riser was Heritage Oil, up 9.5p, or 8.25%, to 124.25p, with biggest faller Waitrose food delivery firm Ocado losing 6.7% of its value to close at 103.6p.
The company is expected to suffer when Waitrose introduces its own in-house delivery service.
There was little in the way of announcements, but Rolls-Royce Group (down 3.5p, 0.4%, at 804p) did say it has won a $136m contract to supply Dolphin Energy to transport natural gas from Qatar to the UAE and Oman, in one of the biggest cross border projects in the region.
Barclays (up 3.9p, 2.2%, at 179p) also revealed its plans to sell its $6.1bn stake in BlackRock, which the US asset manager said would see it buyback $1bn of its own stock.
Tomorrow, Vodafone Group – one of the FTSE’s biggest firms – announce their final results and analysts will be looking out for any update on the phone giant’s £1bn bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide.