August 8, 2019 / 7:36 AM / 2 months ago

FTSE jumps amid soothing China nerves; miners, Hargreaves lead

(Reuters) - Mining stocks thrust London’s main index higher on Thursday after a round of Chinese data dissipated some global growth fears and nickel prices hit a 16-month high amid supply worries, while Hargreaves Lansdown advanced after strong annual results.

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The FTSE 100 .FTSE, which fell almost 5% in the days after President Donald Trump said he would slap tariffs on more Chinese imports last week, recovered for the second session running and surged 1.2%.

The more domestically focussed mid-cap index .FTMC rose 1% on its best day in nearly three months.

“The trade spat is far from over, but while the rhetoric and the actions have been dialled down, traders are swooping in snapping up relatively cheap stocks,” CMC Markets analyst David Madden said.

Data showed that China’s unwrought copper imports bounced back in July after two months of declines, which helped markets find their feet after an aggressive sell-off earlier this month.

“For this rebound to gain further momentum, we would need to see evidence of a softening of the rhetoric around trade, and a willingness on the part of both parties to dial back their current positions,” CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

Fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown (HRGV.L), whose shares took a beating in June as nearly a quarter of its clients were exposed to Neil Woodford’s suspended fund, advanced nearly 12% after a forecast-beating rise in full-year assets.

“We think Hargreaves Lansdown has likely successfully defended its reputation with consumers,” Jefferies analysts wrote, as the stock enjoyed its best day since March 2014.

Miners .FTNMX1770, which have been pressured recently as U.S.-China trade tensions hit metal prices, snapped seven straight days of losses as nickel prices jumped amid worries that major supplier Indonesia could soon ban ore exports.

Gains in the blue-chip index were kept in check by a 5.9% drop in telecom giant BT (BT.L) as the stock traded ex-dividend.

On the mid-cap index, automotive fluid storage firm TI Fluid Systems (TIFS.L) tumbled 15% after poor half-year results, while motor insurer Hastings (HSTG.L) slid 3% to an eight-month low after its first-half profit missed market view.

AIM-listed Burford Capital (BURF.L), whose shares nearly halved in value on Wednesday after short-seller Muddy Waters criticised its accounts, recouped some losses and ended up 15.2% as the fund said it was considering buying back shares.

Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Andrew Cawthorne

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