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Britain's FTSE advances as oil firms, miners, DCC gain
April 5, 2017 / 9:43 AM / 8 months ago

Britain's FTSE advances as oil firms, miners, DCC gain

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* FTSE 100 up 0.3 pct

* Miners, oil lend support

* DCC gains after agrees to buy Shell assets

By Kit Rees

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - British shares rose on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session as heavyweight mining shares and oil stocks rallied while DCC also gained after agreeing to buy a business in Hong Kong and Macau.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent at 7,341.07 points by 0919 GMT, outperforming the broader European market thanks to its large proportion of resources-related stocks.

Miners were the standout performers, with BHP Billiton , Antofagasta and Anglo American all gaining between 1.7 percent to 2.4 percent as copper prices traded higher.

BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest exporter of coal for making steel also saw support after declaring force majeure for coal deliveries from its mines in Australia’s Bowen Basin after a cyclone damaged railway lines.

Disruption from Cyclone Debbie has spurred worries of tighter supply, sending coking coal futures higher.

Oil stocks also lent support, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell both up around 1.3 percent as the price of oil rose close to a month high on signs of a gradual tightening in global oil inventories.

DCC was also among the biggest gainers, up 1.6 percent and trading close to record highs after agreeing to buy Royal Dutch Shell’s LPG business in Hong Kong and Macau for an enterprise value of $145 million.

“It ... provides a good platform for further growth in the Asian LPG market as it pursues its strategy to be a global leader in its industry,” analysts at UBS said in a note.

The biggest faller was specialty chemicals company Croda which dropped 3.7 percent after Credit Suisse downgraded its rating to “underperform” from “neutral”.

“We believe Croda shares are trading at a premium to fair value given operational headwinds in 2017 and structural long-term pressure in Personal Care as the business lifecycle matures,” analysts at Credit Suisse said in a note.

Outside of the blue chips, shares in Allied Minds were set for their biggest one-day loss on record, plummeting 15.6 percent after the tech and life sciences-focused incubator cut funding for seven of its portfolio companies.

Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Alison Williams

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