Strong metal prices push the FTSE back towards its highs

<p>European stock indexes closed firmly in the black on Friday with gains of between 0.4 and 0.8 percent. On a day with very little in […]</p>

European stock indexes closed firmly in the black on Friday with gains of between 0.4 and 0.8 percent. On a day with very little in the way of market moving data investors continued to trade with the trend and push the FTSE 100 back towards its early 2011 highs.

European markets have also been helped today from a good overnight session in the Far East, as Asian markets shrugged off another earthquake in Japan. The quake that happened late yesterday had not done any new major damage and index losses were quickly reversed.

The mining sector was once again the shining light on the commodity heavy FTSE, accounting for 22 points of today’s move at 4pm. Anglo American was the biggest gainer on the day +3.4%, followed closely by Rio Tinto +2.9%, Fresnillo +2.4% and Xstrata +2.3%. Of the top ten biggest winners on the day 9 were miners.

One sore point today was ICAP, the UK listed interdealer broker, who traded down to a low of 516.35p (-23.65p) following a cut to ‘underperform’ from ‘neutral’ at Credit Suisse. Going into the close ICAP was the leading loser on the day trading down around 4%.

Going into next week investor focus will be firmly back on the macroeconomic numbers coming out of Europe and the States The key report that will probably draw the most attention will be Wednesdays release of U.S. Retail Sales.

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