Commods drive FTSE rally, Segro results disappoint

By David Brett

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – Commodity-linked stocks, led by Kazakhmys after first-half results, drove Britain’s top share index higher by midday on Thursday following sharp falls in the previous session.

By 1039 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was up 38.07 points, or 0.8 percent, at 5,147.47, buoyed by a late rally overnight on Wall Street and picking itself up from a seven-week closing low on Wednesday.

Kazakh copper miner Kazakhmys (KAZ.L: ) rose 3.7 percent after it reported a 130 percent rise in underlying first-half earnings per share and said it was on track to meet its full-year output goals.

Evolution Securities kept its “add” recommendation on Kazakhmys, but raised its target price to 1,295 pence from 1,185 pence to reflect the increase in the broker’s copper price estimates.

Sector peers (.FTNMX1770: ) rallied after taking a hammering on Wednesday, along with metals prices, from gloomy reports on U.S. housing and durable goods orders.

“Investors drew some confidence from the late rally in the U.S., but it feels empty, with little out there to sustain this push other than bottom picking, with weak macroeconomic data, particularly from the U.S., still haunting markets,” said Jimmy Yates, head of equities at CMC Markets.

Xstrata (XTA.L: ) was up 2.1 percent after major shareholder Glencore International (GLEN.UL: ), the Swiss mining and commodities trading giant, posted strong first-half results on strong metals prices.

BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ) climbed 1.5 percent as its chief executive flies to North America this week to crank up the charm offensive with Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) shareholders after dousing expectations he would sweeten a $39 billion bid for the fertilizer giant.

Energy stocks (.FTNMX0530: ) also recovered after falls in the previous session, rising with crude prices.

Oil services and engineering group Amec (AMEC.L: ) added 3.7 percent after it posted a 20 percent rise in profits.

SEGRO FALLS

Segro (SGRO.L: ) topped the FTSE 100 fallers’ list, down 3.5 percent, after the industrial property landlord reported first-half results and only a small rise in asset value per share. Evolution Securities cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “add,” saying there was “no catalyst for equity outperformance.

Diageo (DGE.L: ), the world’s biggest spirits group, fell 1.6 percent after its full-year results, with Credit Suisse cutting its 2011 earnings per share forecast for the company along with its price target.

G4S (GFS.L: ) rose 3.1 percent after the security services group reported a rise in first-half profit thanks to strong performance at its Asia and Middle East businesses, and said it expected more growth in the second half.

Wall Street futures pointed to a flat to slightly higher open on Tuesday as investors await the release of U.S. weekly jobless claims at 1230 GMT.

(Editing by Will Waterman)

Commods drive FTSE rally, Segro results disappoint