UPDATE 2-Miners lift FTSE 100; Dairy Crest, Provident gain on M&A

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-Miners lift FTSE 100; Dairy Crest, Provident gain on M&A
Credit: © Reuters.

* FTSE 100 up 0.2 pct

* FTSE 250 up 0.2 pct

* Miners top boosts to main index

* Dairy Crest, Provident Financial up on M&A news

* CMC Markets slumps after rev alert, tugs on peers

* Kraft Heinz weakness hits Unilever , Reckitt (Adds company news items, analyst quote, graph, updates to closing moves)

By Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Strength in miners on growing optimism over global trade talks helped Britain's FTSE 100 inch higher and bid news lifted Dairy Crest and Provident Financial among mid-caps on Friday, while online trading platforms slumped after CMC's surprise revenue alert.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE crept up 0.2 percent but booked losses for the week. The FTSE 250 .FTMC also rose by the same amount.

Mining companies .FTNMX1770 climbed to their highest in eight months as falling inventories and optimism around the Sino-U.S. trade talks pushed copper prices higher. Glencore GLEN.L and BHP BHPB.L added more than 2 percent each.

Consumer good makers Unilever ULVR.L and Reckitt Benckiser RB.L gave up 1.5 percent after U.S. food company Kraft Heinz KHC.O posted a quarterly loss and highlighted the tough environment for the packaged food industry.

Investors are awaiting any signs of breakthrough in the U.S.-China trade talks, while Britain and the European Union negotiate over a Brexit compromise that could pave the way for an agreeable divorce deal. Markets analyst Michael Hewson said that with a week to go until the March 1 trade deadline, an extension seemed to be the most likely outcome.

"We expect the (UK) market to trade in a relatively narrow and low range of returns as economic data stabilise and central banks remain patient," Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) analysts wrote.


Dairy Crest surged 15.3 percent - its biggest one-day gain since it floated in 1996 - after agreeing to be bought out by Canada's Saputo SAP.TO for about 975 million pounds ($1.3 billion). lender Provident Financial PFG.L also jumped over 15 percent after a takeover offer from smaller rival Non-Standard Finance NSF.L despite the bid not offering a premium to its closing price on Thursday. Finance surged 16.3 percent after tabling the unsolicited offer.

"This (NSF's offer) will come as a total surprise to the market ... It will take some time for the market to work through the potential merits of the offer," said Jefferies analysts, who noted PFG shareholders were being asked to accept a nil premium offer for better management.

Online trading platform CMC Markets CMCX.L tanked nearly 23 percent, dragging its rivals Plus500 PLUSP.L and IG IGG.L down by 5 percent, after forecasting a bigger fall in fourth-quarter CFD and spreadbet revenue due to tighter rules by European regulators. Bank MTRO.L jumped 10 percent after gaining funding as part of Britain's Banking Competition Remedies scheme, which is intended to increase competition among banks. CYBGC.L shed 5.7 percent, biggest loser on the mid-cap index, after it was turned down for funds under the scheme.

Support services provider Interserve IRV.L sky-rocketed 52.4 percent after it said it was considering a proposal for its debt reduction from largest shareholder Coltrane Asset Management. = 0.7673 pounds)

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Provident lags FTSE 250, rivals



Drop an image here or Supported formats: *.jpg, *.png, *.gif up to 5mb

Error: File type not supported

Drop an image here or