FTSE 100 watch: Miners prop up Footsie after upbeat China data

Prudential shares rally amid demerger plans while Morrisons weighs

FTSE 100 watch: Miners prop up Footsie after upbeat China data

The UK benchmark index has gained ground in London in today’s session, with upbeat data out of China, the world’s top metals consumer, propping up mining stocks. A rise in Prudential (LON:PRU) has also lent support to the FTSE 100 after the company unveiled plans to split.

FTSE 100 gains ground

As of 12:21 GMT, the Footsie had added 17.98 points to stand 0.25 percent higher at 7,156.76. Sentiment has been upbeat with investors shrugging off worries in the US, where President Donald Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and opposed Broadcom’s proposed buyout of Qualcomm.

Miners have propped up the index, after upbeat industrial production data out of China sent metals prices higher. Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) is currently leading the sector higher, having added 2.95 percent to 941.60p.

Individual Footsie movers

Prudential has been today’s most prominent Footsie riser after announcing plans to demerge its M&G Prudential business and reporting a rise in operating profits. Prudential’s shares are changing hands 5.97 percent higher at 1,934.55p.

At the other end of the spectrum has been Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW), whose shares have been sold off even as the blue-chip grocer posted a rise in sales and profits for 2017, and unveiled a special dividend.

“The market has not been buying into the group’s recent run of form,” Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, told Reuters. “There is a sense that this kind of growth will be difficult to maintain, but this has been the argument for some time and has continually been wrong.” Morrisons’ shares are 3.89 percent down at 217.50p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.31 percent up at 7,161.07 points as of 12:35 GMT on Wednesday, 14 March 2018.

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