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Britain's FTSE ends losing streak; Man Group jumps 16 pct
October 14, 2016 / 8:56 AM / a year ago

Britain's FTSE ends losing streak; Man Group jumps 16 pct

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* FTSE 100 index up 0.5 percent

* Miners track stronger metals prices

* Man Group surges after strong update

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s leading share index climbed on Monday after falling in the previous three sessions, with Man Group surging after a strong trading update and miners tracking firmer metals prices.

Man Group, the world’s biggest listed hedge fund, leapt as much as 16 percent to be on course for its best day since 2009 after saying that demand for its quantitative strategies and market gains had pushed quarterly funds under management up 6 percent.

“2016 is shaping up to be a poor year of investment performance for a significant proportion of Man Group’s products,” Shore Capital analysts said. “However, such has been the underperformance of the share price that it appears to us that the market views the current level of profitability as the new norm.”

Man Group helped the blue-chip FTSE 100 index to gain 0.5 percent to 7,013.50 points by 0828 GMT after falling to its lowest level in more than one week on Thursday. The index, dominated by international companies, set a record high earlier in the week, boosted by a slump in the pound to a 31-year low.

The pound’s drop has helped many FTSE 100 companies that get much of their revenue in dollars, but a weaker pound can also hit consumer confidence, which often hurts small and medium-sized firms. The index is up 20 percent in sterling terms from its post-Brexit low, but has gained only 7 percent in dollar terms.

The domestically focused FTSE mid-cap index was up 0.6 percent. The index is also up around 20 percent since June 24, when the results of Britain’s referendum on leaving the EU became known.

Among sector movers, basic resources stocks topped the chart. The UK mining index rose 1.3 percent after prices of major industrial metals gained following fresh data from China, the world’s top metals consumer.

China’s producer prices unexpectedly rose in September for the first time in nearly five years and could result in higher profits and give companies more room to service massive debts. The data also eased investors’ concerns about the health of the world’s second-largest economy.

“An increase in PPI and the highest CPI reading for the Chinese economy in five years has seemingly offset the negative export data reported in the early hours of Thursday morning and is helping the FTSE regain a foothold above 7,000,” said Henry Croft, analyst at Accendo Markets.

“Bulls will be hoping once again that the 7,000 mark holds.”

Shares in miners Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, and Anglo American rose between 1.7 and 2.3 percent.

Britain’s biggest retailer, Tesco, rose 2.6 percent, the top gainer in the FTSE 100, after settling a pricing row with Unilever that had halted online sales of goods produced by the Anglo-Dutch giant. The dispute was triggered by the plunge in the pound since Britons voted to leave the EU.

Unilever shares fell 0.9 percent.

Shares in hospital operator Mediclinic rose 2.7 percent to 909.50 pence after Deutsche Bank raised its rating on the stock to “buy” and increased its target price to 1,100 pence from 1,030. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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