FTSE 100 sets record for third day... but only just!

Daily Mail - - City & Finance - by Vic­to­ria Ibitoye

A LATE surge saw the FTSE 100 close at a record high for the third day in a row.

The in­dex fin­ished just 0.07pc or 4.85 points higher at 7429.81 as ster­ling weak­ened fol­low­ing news that Ar­ti­cle 50 would be trig­gered at the end of the month.

Dixons Car­phone was the big­gest riser, up 2.6pc, or 7.9p, to 309.6p while in­sures Di­rect Line and Ad­mi­ral both rose 1.7pc. Pri­mark-owner As­so­ci­ated Brit

ish Foods also per­formed strongly, thanks to a pos­i­tive rat­ing by an­a­lysts at Gold­man Sachs.

The com­pany, which is also re­spon­si­ble for brands such as Kingsmill bread and Twin­ings tea, soared 1.6pc, or 43p, to 2659p af­ter an­a­lysts raised their price tar­get to 3000p from 2750p, say­ing strong growth at its Pri­mark stores should drive prof­its.

How­ever, other fash­ion brands were not so lucky.

On­line re­tailer Asos dipped af­ter Gold­man an­a­lysts down­graded its shares to ‘neu­tral’ from ‘buy’ de­spite a strong share price per­for­mance. Shares have risen

13.9pc since be­ing added to Gold­man’s ‘buy’ list in Novem­ber 2016 but the firm said the re­tailer, which has a strong foothold in the UK, still has space to grow in less ma­ture mar­kets. Shares fell 0.6pc, or 38p, to 5886p.

Nostrum Oil & Gas plunged 5.8pc, or 27.3p, to 442.6p af­ter a High Court in­junc­tion blocked its chair­man from deal­ing with his shares in the com­pany.

Frank Mon­strey, chair­man of the oil and gas ex­plo­ration firm, has been stopped from vot­ing and ex­er­cis­ing his rights through his Clare­mont Hold­ings ve­hi­cles.

Clare­mont has a 13pc stake in Nostrum & Gas.

Ac­cord­ing to Clare­mont, the court or­der is in re­la­tion to ongo- ing pro­ceed­ings at the High Court brought by Kaza­khstan’s BTA Bank against its for­mer chair­man Mukhtar Ablya­zov, who is ac­cused of em­bez­zle­ment.

How­ever, Clare­mont said nei­ther Clare­mont Hold­ings Ltd nor Clare­mont Hold­ing CV are de­fen­dants in the pro­ceed­ings and no sub­stan­tive claim has been made against them.

Ablya­zov fled Kaza­khstan to the UK and was granted political asy­lum in 2011 af­ter the Kazakh gov­ern­ment ac­quired a stake in the bank in 2009. He is ac­cused of steal­ing pen­sion assets and per­sonal sav­ings of cit­i­zens as well as loans re­ceived from for­eign fi­nan­cial institutions, and is fight­ing ex­tra­di­tion to Rus­sia.

It is un­clear how the High Court rul­ing links to Clare­mont, but both Clare­mont Hold­ings Ltd and Clare­mont Hold­ings CV said they will ap­ply to the court as soon as pos­si­ble to have the or­der dis­charged.

Things are look­ing up for Rus­sian steel pro­ducer Evraz.

The metal maker, which is part owned by bil­lion­aire Chelsea FC owner Ro­man Abramovich, has been up­graded from ‘neu­tral’ to a high-risk ‘buy’ by an­a­lysts at Cit­i­group who be­lieve de­mand for Rus­sian long steel ex­ports will pick up off the back of ris­ing prices in China.

As Evraz is op­er­at­ing un­der ca­pac­ity, it is ex­pected to en­joy a size­able vol­ume rise of 0.5m tons in 2017 as global mar­kets tighten in re­ac­tion to China, while its cok­ing coal arm should get a boost as Rus­sian prices catch up with the rest of the world. Shares leapt 6pc, or 13.1p, to 231.5p.

Chem­i­cal com­pany Ele­men­tis edged up slightly af­ter it re­vealed it has sold its strug­gling US colourants busi­ness. The firm said it de­cided to sell the di­vi­sion – to US firm Chro­maflo for an undis­closed sum – and close its pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in New Jer­sey af­ter re­view­ing its prod­uct port­fo­lio. Shares were up 0.6pc, or 1.8p, to 290.1p.

Brick maker Michelmersh soared af­ter post­ing steady ful­lyear re­sults and dou­bling its div­i­dend. Shares in the firm rose 6.6pc, or 3.75p, to 61p.

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