LONDON MARKETS: Miners Help Lift FTSE 100, Even As Pound Extends Gains

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Tesco wants regulator to speed up M&A probe

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U.K. stocks pushed higher Thursday, as commodity shares benefitted from the U.S. dollar's pullback, moves that offset pressure from a resurgent pound.

The FTSE 100 leapt 0.8% to 7,443.95, with only the utilities sector moving down. The London benchmark on Wednesday fell 0.6% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-falls-as-oils-slide-pulls-energy-majors-lower-pound-holds-to-gains-2017-06-28) and marked its lowest close since May 11, according to FactSet data.

The basic materials group rose the most Thursday. Shares of mining companies advanced as copper and other dollar-denominated metals prices gained on the back of a decline in the dollar .

Copper producer Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) popped up 3.8%, Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) gained 2.5%, Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN) tacked on 1.2%, and Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) rose 2%.

The dollar was knocked down against the euro and the pound . The euro is trading above $1.14 for the first time since June 2016, and sterling is approaching $1.30 following comments made Wednesday by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

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The BOE chief "said that if the jobs market remains healthy and unemployment low, then the Monetary Policy Committee 'tolerance for above-target inflation falls,' which is another way of saying the BOE will tighten its policy if they are proven wrong on their inflation forecasts for a bit longer," wrote Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com, in a late Wednesday note.

Read:BOE chief Carney hints at rate rise (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boe-chief-carney-hints-at-rate-rise-2017-06-28)

The pound was trading at $1.2988, up from $1.2927 late Wednesday in New York. Sterling changed hands below $1.29 for much of Wednesday's session.

Stronger sterling can weigh on the FTSE 100, as a higher value for the currency reduces the revenue generated overseas by the index's multinational companies.

Stock movers: Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) has requested the U.K.'s competition regulator to fast-track its inquiry into the supermarket chain's proposed GBP3.7 billion acquisition of food wholesaler Booker Group (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesco-asks-cma-to-fast-track-booker-deal-probe-2017-06-29)(BOK.LN) . Tesco shares were up 0.4%, and Booker rose 0.5%.

HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBA.LN) (HSBA.LN) drove 4.4% higher. The move came as Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the lender's Hong Kong-listed shares (HSBA.LN) , as well as on its per-share earnings expectations through 2019, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

DS Smith PLC (SMDS.LN) shares rallied 8.8% on the midcap FTSE 250 after the packaging company struck a deal to buy U.S. packaging and paper producer Indevco Management Resources Inc. for $920 million (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ds-smith-profit-up-to-buy-control-of-indevco-2017-06-29). DS Smith also posted a 31% jump in fiscal 2017 pretax profit.

Pay-TV company Sky PLC (SKY.LN) was up 0.7% ahead of an expected decision by the U.K. government on whether to greenlight 21st Century Fox Inc.'s (FOX) $14 billion bid to buy the 61% of Sky PLC it doesn't already own.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 29, 2017 03:56 ET (07:56 GMT)