* FTSE 100 up 0.3 pct
* Mid caps hit record high, close at record level
* Miners lend support
* John Wood Group makes offer for Amec Foster
* Galliford Try makes bid for Bovis
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By Kit Rees and Helen Reid
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 ended the day up 0.3
percent at 7,367.08 points, while the FTSE 250 gained
0.4 percent, posting a record close after hitting a new all-time
high of 19,048.96 points.
Sterling offered little support, bouncing straight back up
from a slight dip after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
announced her intention to trigger a second independence
referendum, but said it would take place at the earliest in late
Mining stocks rallied almost 3 percent, and
added around 15 points to the FTSE 100. Shares in Anglo American
, Rio Tinto, Antofagasta and BHP
Billiton rose between 2.5 percent and 4.9 percent as the
price of copper recovered from its biggest weekly fall since
Precious metals miner Fresnillo was the top gainer,
up 5.6 percent, while gold miner Randgold Resources also
rose 1.8 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, before paring back to close
up 11.6 percent, after an offer from oilfield services company
John Wood in a deal valued at around $2.7 billion. Acquirer John
Wood's shares closed up 1.4 percent, after earlier jumping 5
"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.
Likewise Bovis Homes jumped 10 percent after peer
Galliford Try made a bid for the homebuilder. The stock
had its best day in eight months on the news.
Bovis rejected the bid but said it remained in talks with
Galliford Try about a possible deal.
The housebuilder 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.
Dominos Pizza was the top European faller, down 4.3
percent after Citigroup cut its rating on the stock to
'neutral', citing food inflation pressures and a highly
competitive environment. The pizza maker had slumped 13.2
percent after its results last Thursday.
(Editing by Catherine Evans)