MARKET REPORT: Bright start to December for London stock market

Miners lifted the London stock market amid hopes over rising demand for commodities.

In a bright start to December, the FTSE 100 rose 1 per cent, or 75.6 points, to 7529.35 and the FTSE 250 added 1 per cent, or 175.18 points, to 18408.65.

China’s factory activity, meanwhile, unexpectedly expanded in November, according to a private survey. The positive manufacturing data beat market forecasts and fuelled hopes that China will drive demand for commodities.

That sent mining stocks higher as Rio Tinto rose 3.7 per cent, or 200p, to 5599p and Glencore gained 3.6 per cent, or 15.9p, to 457.7p.

And upgrades from the investment bank UBS helped Anglo American surge 7.9 per cent, or 169p, to 2311p while Antofagasta climbed 6.2 per cent, or 87p, to 1495.5p.

Digging deep: Miners lifted the London stock market amid hopes over rising demand for commodities

Digging deep: Miners lifted the London stock market amid hopes over rising demand for commodities

Housebuilders were also on the march. The latest figures from building society Nationwide showed that house prices rose for a third month in a row.

Crest Nicholson increased 3.5 per cent, or 6.4p, to 191.9p, Persimmon added 2.1 per cent, or 26p, to 1277.5p and Taylor Wimpey grew by 1.1 per cent, or 1.45p, to 131p.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘Hopes that interest rates have peaked might have led more people to see if they can sell their home, while an easing in mortgage rates will have made home loans more affordable to people looking to buy.’

Deutsche Bank Research sounded the alarm over ITV, warning it will struggle as TV advertising revenue declines. Shares in the broadcaster slid 0.6 per cent, or 0.36p, to 59.76p.

Trainline hit the buffers after investment bank Panmure Gordon downgraded its rating on the stock amid concerns over ongoing train strikes and increased competition from Uber. Shares reversed 2 per cent, or 5.6p, to 279.6p.

JP Morgan warned European food retailers, including Tesco, are likely to see their sales impacted by disinflation, a slowdown in the rise of prices, over the next two years. The US investment bank cut its rating on Britain’s biggest supermarket, sending shares down 2.7 per cent, or 6.2p, to 279.6p.

Melrose’s outgoing boss Simon Peckham is to step down from the board of Dowlais at the end of this year. His departure comes after the engineering group’s successful demerger from Melrose in April. Shares in Melrose added 2.9 per cent, or 15.2p, to 533.8p but Dowlais slipped 0.3 per cent, or 0.35p, to 101.8p.

Dr Martens rose 5.9 per cent, or 5.3p, to 95.5p and Auction Technology added 1.1 per cent, or 5.5p, to 490.5p as both clawed back some losses following bleak updates on Thursday. The British bootmaker issued its fourth profit warning this year and flagged ongoing difficulties in its US business. And Auction Technology, which operates marketplaces for online auctions, flagged uncertainty over its growth.

Ongoing project delays forced Capricorn Energy to lower its production forecast for this year.

Shares in the Egypt-focused oil and gas firm sank 5.3 per cent, or 7.8p, to 140.6p.

Flooring firm James Halstead rose 2.5 per cent, or 5p, to 203p following a strong start to its financial year.

Chipmaker Sondrel plunged 46.4 per cent, or 6.15p, to 7.1p after its second biggest shareholder sold its entire stake.

Siemens, which owned 11.22 per cent of the company, offloaded nearly 10m shares at 6p each. But Sondrel said it will not acquire any proceeds from the placing.

The UK would benefit from the direct control and price advantages that come with producing oil and gas domestically, according to the City broker Zeus. It cited home-grown Union Jack Oil, one of three producers working on the Wressle field in Lincolnshire.

Shares in Union Jack Oil remained flat at 19.5p.

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