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FTSE 100 seen flat after rally, commodities fall

The FTSE 100 is seen marginally higher after making a gain of nearly 1% yesterday despite heavy losses in the financial sector, which were offset by a strong performance from miners.

Temporary power provider Aggreko (LSE: AGK) was in the lead with a 6% advance. Copper miner Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) and publisher Pearson (SLE: PSON) added about 5%, while beverage group SABMiller (SLE: SAB) climbed 4.5% and silver and gold miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) rose 4.3%.

Insurer Prudential (LSE: PRU) was the heaviest faller in the index with a 12% decline after buying AIG’s (NYSE: AIG) Asian insurance business for £24 billion. Another insurer Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) and bank HSBC (LSE: HSBA) followed with losses of 5%. Part-nationalised bank Lloyds (LSE: LLOY) lost slightly more than 4%, while insurer Aviva (LSE: AV) was down 4%.

US stock market also was on the rise yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the ay 0.75% higher, the broader S&P 500 index rallied 1% and the technology heavy NASDAQ composite surged 1.6%.

Asian markets were mixed today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.8% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid 5%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 tacked on 0.3,% Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.5% and South Korea’s KOSPI rallied 1.3%.


Oil prices were slightly lower from yesterday’s levels. April Brent Crude slid to US$76.75/barrel, while US light, sweet crude moved down to US$78.58/barrel.

Gold pulled back to US$1,116/oz after almost reaching US$1,120/oz. Silver and platinum followed, dropping to US$16.37/oz and US$1,546/oz respectively.

Base metals also declined. Copper and nickel slipped to US$3.29/lb and US$9.53/lb, while zinc was down to US$0.97/lb.

Car insurer Admiral Group (LSE: ADM), silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES), ground engineering company Keller Group (LSE: KLR), telecom company Telit Communications (AIM: TCM), home builder Persimmon (LSE: PSN) and engineering firm Meggitt (LSE: MGGT) will report their final results today.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions