LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Hovers At 6-week High, Bolstered By Mining Stocks

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil majors gain, bucking drop for crude prices amid OPEC meeting

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U.K. stocks moved higher Monday, as strength in mining stocks kept the equity market around a six-week high.

The FTSE 100 index rose 0.2% to 7,528.98, topped by advances for the basic material and the oil and gas sectors. The blue-chip benchmark on Friday closed higher by 0.5% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rbs-shares-propel-uk-stocks-higher-after-earnings-2017-08-04) and marked its best finish since June 19. That cemented a 2% rise last week, the biggest weekly gain since December.

"Helping sentiment overnight was another Monday morning rally for iron ore prices, this time on fears of winter supply issues," said analysts at Accendo Markets in an note.

Mining shares advanced as iron ore prices climbed by roughly more than 6%, with iron ore majors BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) rising 2.4% and 2.1%, respectively.

Also, commodities miner and trader Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) , whose second-quarter results are due Thursday, was up 1.8%, and rival iron ore producer Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) drove up 2%.

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Mining shares make up about 89% of the basic materials sector, which itself has an 8% weighting on the FTSE 100.

Shares of oil majors were higher, with BP PLC (BP.LN) (BP.LN) rising 0.6% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) (RDSB.LN) up by 0.5%, bucking losses for oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-struggle-for-footing-ahead-of-opec-meeting-2017-08-07) . Investors will keep watch on developments from a gathering of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is meeting to discuss compliance with production quotas.

But moving lower were shares of Paddy Power Betfair PLC shares . They slumped 6% after the online betting and gaming group said Chief Executive Breon Corcoran will step down after 16 years (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/paddy-power-betfair-ceo-corcoran-to-step-down-2017-08-07-24853544) with the company. No departure date has been set, but Corcoran will remain to finish integrating Paddy Power with recently purchased Betfair.

The pound on Monday bought $1.3050 from $1.3039 late Friday in New York.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 07, 2017 04:00 ET (08:00 GMT)