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Higher commodity prices trigger mining sector rally

Stronger iron, copper and gold prices prompted a rally in the mining sector, helping the FTSE 100 gain positive momentum.

Copper rose 1% to $5,974 per tonne and gold glittered at $1,229 per ounce.

The FTSE 100 was trading 0.4% higher at 7,411.

Among the miners, Anglo American (AAL) and Antofagasta (ANTO) led the way and were up around 2.4% to £11.43 and 876p, respectively.

Fresnillo (FRES) and Glencore (GLEN) gained 2.3% and 1.7% to £15.11 and 322p.


The news that Carolyn McCall plans to leave budget airline easyJet (EZJ) to become CEO of ITV (ITV) weighed on the airline's share price, which fell 0.4% to £14.02. ITV was up 2% on the news.

British Gas owner Centrica (CNA) and Stadtwerke Munchen agreed to combine Centrica's European oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) business with Bayerngas Norge to form a new joint venture and create a leading independent European E&P company.

In other corporate news, UDG Healthcare (UDG) acquired US-based healthcare communications business Cambridge BioMarketing for up to $35m. Shares in the firm were flat at 844.5p.


It was good start to the week for Weir (WEIR) after the engineer said it expects to beat operating profit expectations thanks a recent strong recovery in upstream North American markets. Shares in Weir surged 7.4% to £19.59.

Troubled Carillion (CLLN) bounced back from recent share price weakness following a profit warning last Monday that cost CEO Richard Howson his job. The support services company said its CEK joint venture with Eiffage and Kier (KIE) successfully bid for the C2 and C3 contracts and separately the group brought in accountancy firm EY to support a strategic review. The stock rose 4.9% to 61p.

Elsewhere, infrastructure group Balfour Beatty (BBY) advanced 2.8% to 270p. Investors were excited by a notification of intent on the award of two contracts for the High Speed 2 rail project, worth £2.5bn overall.


KEFI Minerals (KEFI) reported the signing of a mandate letter and heads of terms for $135m of funding with Oryx Management to finance and operate on-site infrastructure at its Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia. The stock catapulted 24.2% to 5.2p.

Rapid growth in Image Scan's (IGE) order book is encouraging for the company. Image Scan said it expects to exceed full-year market expectations. Shares in the firm soared by nearly 25% to 5.6p.

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