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FTSE 100 climbs higher albeit in light trading

January 21 2013, 5:35pm
FTSE 100 climbs higher albeit in light trading

UK stocks edged slightly higher albeit in light trading, with the blue chip FTSE100 index rising 26 point, nearly 0.5%, to 6,180.

Interest across the market was somewhat subdued in the morning though as the British transport network predictably struggled to cope with the effects of weekend’s ‘big freeze’.  

Meanwhile the US public holiday, Martin Luther King day, and Barack Obama’s inauguration meant the big caps were largely lacking direction in the afternoon.

Indeed, the day’s largest riser was driven by upbeat broker comments today. Shares in British general insurer Admiral (LON:ADM) was up around 5% - to trade at £12.11 a share -  as City heavyweight Goldman Sachs added the stock to its “conviction buy” list moving the stock up from a “neutral” rating.

Conversely, Pearson (LON:PSON) shares ditched  almost 3% - to trade at £12.02 a share – after the publishing firm told investors it would report flat profits after tough trading in the final quarter. It warned that this is set to continue into 2013.

The firm was mostly friendless afterwards but Goldman Sachs stayed loyal. It repeated its ‘buy’ recommendation on the shares and urged its clients to ignore short-term headwinds and focus on the long-term attractions.

 

While the big caps were generally creeping higher the FTSE AIM 100, the small cap benchmark, dropped back slightly – down 0.16% today at 3,295.

 

Lesser known AIM names like Travelzest (LON:TVZ), Spark Ventures (LON:SPK) and Media Corporation (LON:MDC) were the biggest fallers on AIM – shedding 31%, 17% and 15% respectively.

 

Meanwhile among the risers was Atlantic Coal (LON:ATC), up 3.57% to 0.29p, which said it had exercised its lease option over the Pott & Bannon coal mine in Pennsylvania.

The company believes the addition of the property, which is just 25 miles from the firm’s Stockton colliery, could treble the company’s existing reserves.

The 410-acre site is estimated to contain up to 13.6mln tonnes of coal, equating to around 4.1mln tonnes of washed, saleable anthracite.

News of the completed water delivery system at Paragon Diamonds' (LON:PRG) Lemphane bulk sampling plant in Lesotho sent its shares northwards today - rising 2.53% to stand at 20.25 pence each.

Other notable gainers were Alecto Minerals (LON:ALO), which gained 4.76% to stand at 1.10 pence each and Orogen Gold (LON:ORE) which was lifted 4.08% to stand at 0.51 pence.

Blur Group (LON:BLUR) shares went up 9% to stand at 145 pence, while Chaarat Gold (LON:CGH) went up 8.5% to stand at 28.6p pence each.

Last week Chaarat announced that tax changes in the Kyrgyz Republic, where it operates, have ‘simplified and clarified’ the operational environment for mining in the country.

 

Gold recovery specialist Goldplat (LON:GDP) was also up today, rising 2%.


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