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* FTSE 100 up 0.1 pct
* Mid caps hit record high
* Miners lend support
* John Wood Group makes offer for Amec Foster
By Kit Rees
LONDON, March 13 British shares started the week
on a firm footing as mining stocks rallied, with deal-making
helping the mid cap index to a record high.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent at
7,348.67 points by 0950 GMT, while the FTSE 250 gained
Mining stocks rallied almost 3 percent, and
added around 15 points to the FTSE 100. Shares in Anglo American
, Rio Tinto, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton
and Glencore rose between 2.4 percent and more
than 4 percent as the price of copper recovered from its biggest
weekly fall since December.
Precious metals miner Fresnillo was the top gainer,
up 4.8 percent, while gold miner Randgold Resources also
rose 2.3 percent as the price of gold edged higher.
Some of the more dramatic moves were among mid cap stocks,
with deal-making fuelling a rise in Amec Foster Wheeler
and John Wood Group's shares.
Amec Foster soared 15.4 percent after an offer from oilfield
services company John Wood in a deal valued at around $2.7
billion. John Wood's shares rose 5.2 percent.
"The currency devaluation, essentially, is what it is, so
now we're getting to the stage where there are attractive
opportunities in the slightly lower-capitalised companies as
well," Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index, said.
"For Amec Foster Wheeler, probably the valuation is just
about right for a particularly interested buyer. This is in an
area where it's not going to be of interest unless there's some
Likewise Bovis Homes jumped 8.3 percent after peer
Galliford Try made a bid for the homebuilder. Bovis
rejected the bid but said it remained in talks with Galliford
Try about a possible deal.
Bovis had also rejected a proposal from Redrow.
"We believe consolidation amongst two mid-cap homebuilders
makes sense in order to gain scale and achieve cost
efficiencies," UBS analysts said in a note.
"However, attractive returns achievable on land limits
options for cash transactions, in our view. As such, a proposed
share merger at a premium to book looks reasonable," they added.
(Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Mark Potter)