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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Hits Record High As Anglo American Leads Rally In Miners
Dow Jones News
By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
Bank of England policy decision on deck
Stocks in the U.K. charged up to record levels Thursday, with mining shares invigorated by a pullback in the dollar and a major investment in Anglo American PLC, with the gains coming before the Bank of England releases its policy decision.
The FTSE 100 jumped 0.7% to 7,420,49, on track to surpass its record closing high of 7,382.90 logged on March 1. The index on Wednesday finished up by 0.2%.
The index logged a record intraday high of 7,423.20 Thursday as all sectors bounced up, led by the basic materials and oil and gas groups. Those sectors make up a more than 20% weighting on the British benchmark, according to FactSet data.
Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) topped the gauge as its shares jumped 7.7%. They surged 10% at the open after billionaire Anil Agarwal's family trust, Volcan Investments Ltd., bought a 12% stake (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/indias-agarwal-takes-12-stake-in-anglo-american-2017-03-16) in the producer of iron ore, copper and other metals. The purchase makes Volcan the second-biggest investor in Anglo American.
Other metal producer stocks pushed higher alongside Anglo as the sector was also aided by a pullback in the dollar . The decline came after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen late Wednesday signaled the central bank will remain on a gradual pace of raising interest rates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-raises-interest-rates-by-a-quarter-point-sees-two-move-moves-this-year-2017-03-15).
"Gold has been a clear winner from the U.S. dollar's sharp selloff following the Fed's rate hike, as the precious metal halts its downtrend to post fresh 2-week highs," said Accendo Markets analysts Mike van Dulken and Henry Croft in a note.
Read:Why the Fed interest-rate hike fueled a rally in gold (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-fed-interest-rate-hike-fueled-a-rally-in-gold-2017-03-15)
Gold futures climbed 2% to trade above $1,224 an ounce.
Among miners, shares of Randgold Resources PLC (RRS.LN) popped up 5.5%, Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN) soared 5.8%, and Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) tacked on 5.7%.
Also in the resources sector, BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) leapt 4.8%, Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) rose 4.6%, and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) picked up 4.4%.
BOE rate call: The central bank is expected to leave the U.K.'s benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.25%, although there's been an rise in inflationary pressures. The BOE has been watching developments in the economy as the country moves closer to starting the process of leaving the European Union.
The pound traded at $1.2267, compared with $1.2291 late Wednesday in New York ahead of the BOE's policy decision, due for release at 12 p.m. London time, or 8 a.m. Eastern Time.
Other movers: J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) shares shed 0.5% as the company said supermarket sales fell 0.1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sainsburys-supermarket-sales-dip-2017-03-16) in the nine weeks to March 11.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 16, 2017 05:04 ET (09:04 GMT)Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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