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Footsie advances in afternoon; ABF among best performers

January 17 2013, 5:49pm
Footsie advances in afternoon; ABF among best performers


Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) was one of the best performers on the Footsie today, which closed up over half a percent Thursday.

The FTSE 100 closed the session up 28 points, at 6,132, despite muted trading earlier in the day.

Investors continue to tuck in to Primark owner ABF after a sterling performance over Christmas from the clothing retail chain.

The company saw retail sales grow 25% from the previous year, ahead of expectations, sending shares up 7%.

Total group revenue rose 10% in the period, boosted also by a 12% increase in sugar sales.

The figures prompted City broker Panmure Gordon to raise its target price 220 pence to 1,670p. The broker kept its ‘hold’ rating.

AB Foods closed the day 3.2% up and was one of the top gainers joining ITV, which also closed 3.2% up, as its brand overhaul kicked off this week - the start of a five year transformation plan.

Credit specialist Experian (LON:EXPN) was also up -  2.26% to 1,086 pence.

Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management (LON:ADN) was the biggest loser closing 1.65% down.

Assets under management at the end of 2012 stood at £193.4bn, up from £187.2bn at the end of September. The group secured net new business of £1.1bn, compared to flat net inflows in the previous quarter, but the stock has risen by 76% over the last year and without the wow factor, the trading statement prompted some to bank profits.

In the junior sphere FTSE AIM 100 also did well, closing the day up 9.42 points at 3304.13.

Further down the food chain, Nyota Minerals (LON:NYO) climbed over 6% after edging closer to being able to dig for gold at its Tulu Kapi project in Ethiopia.

The country’s mining ministry confirmed the AIM-listed mineral explorer’s definitive feasibility study (DFS) met the requirements for a mining licence.

Fellow mining minnow Afferro Mining (LON:AFF) moved 3.5% higher as it confirmed that Indian giant Jindal Steel and Power is one of a number of the junior miner's potential suitors.

Xcite Energy (LON:XEL, CVE:XEL) is wanted after Merchant Securities bigged up the stock as it initiated coverage. Shares rose 2.70% to 104.5 pence.

Analyst Brendan Long described Bentley as "one of the most attractive undeveloped fields in the North Sea" and rates Xcite as a ‘buy’ with a 167.8p price target.

Other notable risers were Triple Plate Junction (LON:TPJ), up 21.74% Tethys Petroleum (LON:TPL), up 2.51%, Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES), up 10.26% and Pan African Resources (LON:PAF), up 5.56% at 19 pence each.


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