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Miners bolster Britain's FTSE, more weakness eyed
May 30, 2013 / 10:59 AM / 4 years ago

Miners bolster Britain's FTSE, more weakness eyed

* FTSE 100 up 0.1 pct, recovers from 2-week low

* Long-term trendline offers support around 6,600

* Miners top gainers, helped by gold price

By Toni Vorobyova

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - Britain’s top share index edged up from two-week lows on Thursday, with some investors seeing value in previously unloved mining stocks but waiting for a deeper correction before buying back into the market as a whole.

Precious metals miners Fresnillo, Randgold and Polymetal led the gainers, up 4.5 to 2.6 percent and taking heart from a rebound in the gold price.

Bigger names such as Rio Tinto and Anglo American followed, with some investors turning to what has been the worst performing sector this year as previous favourites such as healthcare and food look over-valued.

“They (miners) are volatile, they are cyclical and they are not creators of long-term shareholder value, but there is a price for everything and the recent malaise they’ve had is starting to make them look attractive on earnings and on yields as well,” said Peter Botham, chief investment officer at private bank Brown Shipley.

“At these sorts of levels we would be comfortable buying Rio and BHP.”

Metals and mining is one of the cheapest sectors, trading at just 9.6 times expected next year earnings, compared with 11.2 times for the FTSE 100, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

The rally in the miners added around 4 points to the FTSE 100, which was up 8.41 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,635.57 points by 1041 GMT, rebounding from an earlier two-week low.

The blue chip index has lost 3.5 percent in five days, knocked off 13-year highs by concerns that U.S. Federal Reserve could begin to unwind its stimulus policies in coming months, thus taking away a key support for global equities.

Technical charts offered some near-term support, with the FTSE halted at the trendline linking the highs from 1999 and 2007, around 6,600 points.

“If this level gives way then a deeper setback is favoured to 6,534/6,555,” said Ed Blake, technical analyst at Informa Global Markets.

As long as stimulus from the Fed and other central banks stays in place, though, such a correction is likely to attract fresh buyers, potentially putting a floor under the market within 300 points of current levels.

“The market is reasonably well underpinned, so I am not looking for anything calamitous like a 10 or a 20 percent correction,” said Botham at Brown Shipley.

“The market could trend downwards towards the 6,300 to 6,500 level during the course of the next few weeks - in other words what we think is fair value - before you put money back in again to hopefully get the next leg upwards.” (Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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