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

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatchFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Tesco wants regulator to speed up M&A probe

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.

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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% ( 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.

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, in a late Wednesday note.

Read:BOE chief Carney hints at rate rise (

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 ( . 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 ( 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)