FTSE closes at five-year high, supported by miners

<p>Momentum slowed across most European markets in the second session of the week, with technology stocks and banks providing a drag on the major indices. […]</p>

Momentum slowed across most European markets in the second session of the week, with technology stocks and banks providing a drag on the major indices. Here in the UK, however, the FTSE 100 found support from resources stocks.

Going into the close the DAX and CAC were trading flat whilst the FTSE 100 was trading 0.7% higher, completing its fifth  straight day of gains and closing comfortably above 6300. The index finished at its highest level since early 2008. The FTSE 100 has risen over 7.5% in January and is now in over-bought territory.  This is not necessarily a sell signal in itself, however, and there are suggestions that the May 2008 high of 6376 could be tested before we see the end of this current move.

Looking at single stocks, Royal Bank of Scotland shares were the biggest losers, shedding over 6.2% following a downgrade from Goldman Sachs which changed its rating for the company from sell to neutral on Monday afternoon and following another downgrade by Espirito Santo today. Additionally it has been reported that US authorities are pushing RBS to agree to a settlement of interest rate rigging allegations that would include pleading guilty to criminal charges and a fine. The knock on effect of the continuation of this Libor scandal was evident with sector peers Lloyds and Barclays also dropping 2.4% and 1.5% respectively.

On a positive note Anglo American topped the leader board, up over 3.1% at the close following a raise in its target price from JP Morgan and despite comments that it would write down the value of its Minas-Rio iron ore project by $4 billion for the impairment charge. This was a welcomed rise for Anglo American, which is still trying to recover from the 7% drop in share prices on January 15. Other miners also performed well today following a rise in metal prices. Kazakhmys, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton all added around 2%.

Europe remained quiet with regards to economic data and as investors eyed up US consumer confidence. Despite the figure coming in worse than analyst expectations and falling to its lowest level in more than a year, Wall Street still powered up, supported by better than expected company results.

Tomorrow will see investors remaining focused on the US as growth data and the FOMC rate decision are due.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.