FTSE dragged lower by mining stocks

<p>Following yesterday’s close, the FTSE has fallen 30 points since its open, with the leading fallers dominated by mining stocks. The biggest story of the […]</p>

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  • Following yesterday’s close, the FTSE has fallen 30 points since its open, with the leading fallers dominated by mining stocks.
  • The biggest story of the day so far surrounds Anglo-Swiss commodities firms Xstrata and Glencore reaching an agreement on the terms of a recommended all-share merger of equals in a $90 billion deal. This includes a merger ratio of Xstrata shareholders being offered 2.8 new Glencore shares for every Xstrata share held, with the merger valuing each Xstrata shares at 1290.10 pence and the entire issued share capital of Xstrata at approximately £39.1 billion. Xstrata, incidentally, reported full-year attributable profits of $5.8 billion, up 12% year-on-year, and proposed final dividend of 27 cents per share, bringing the full year dividend to 40 cents, a 60% increase on 2010. Xstrata shares are currently trading lower this morning, by circa 2%. Glencore International is up 1.5%.
  • Also reporting full-year results is BP. The company said its Q4 attributable profit to BP shareholders was $7.68 billion, compared to $5 billion a year earlier, and is expected to pay a quarterly dividend of 8 cents per share. BP shares are trading very slightly lower by circa 0.2%. Peers Cairn Energy and Shell are amongst the biggest risers.
  • In European indices, the German DAX is also trading 45 points lower, and the French CAC is 20 points lower.
  • In bond markets, the UK will auction its sovereign bonds later this morning. Finally, amongst economic data today that could prove significant, German Industrial Production figures are due at 12pm and US Consumer Credit figures are due in the evening. Thanks for watching, and best of luck with your trading.

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