FTSE 100 gains as Chinese hopes give miners a boost

Big 5

U.K. stocks gained ground Monday, as mining stocks shook off downbeat Chinese data and as investors continued to warm to the European Central Bank’s aggressive stimulus plans.

The U.K’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.59% climbed 0.8% to 6,192.94, with all sectors moving higher. On Friday, the London benchmark jumped 1.7 %, benefiting from a Europe-wide equities rally sparked by the ECB’s policy announcement Thursday.

Miners: Miners were the best performing sector, despite a fresh round of data showing a slowdown in industrial production in China, a key buyer of industrial and precious metals.

Chinese markets also brushed off the economic data, with investors hoping for indications of further stimulus from the National People’s Congress. Those legislative meetings in Beijing wrap up on Wednesday.

“Perhaps the prospect of more stimulus is enough to support markets at a time when the economy is slowing and facing a tough challenge of hitting this year’s growth target,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.

Shares of commodities producer and trader Glencore PLC  GLEN, +5.31% GLCNF, +3.57% gained 4.3%, copper and platinum miner Anglo American PLC AAL, +3.84% picked up 4.2%, and iron ore producer BHP Billiton PLC BLT, +2.55% BHP, +2.56% BHP, +0.74% rose 2.8%.

Banks: London-listed bank stocks have risen alongside their European counterparts, seen as big beneficiaries of the ECB’s stimulus moves. Shares of Standard Chartered PLC STAN, +2.01% STAN, +2.01% moved up 2.5%, and HSBC Holdings PLC HSBA, +0.43% HSBC, +2.09% were up 0.6%.

But Royal Bank of Scotland PLC RBS, -0.04% shares pared gains to less than 0.1%. News reports said the bank plans to cut 550 jobs as it shifts toward greater use of automated investment-advice systems, or robo advisers.

In other movers, London Stock Exchange Group PLC LSE, +0.56% shares climbed 0.7% after a Telegraph newspaper report that Deutsche Boerse AG DB1, +1.52% may raise its takeover offer for the exchange operator.

Sterling: The pound GBPUSD, -0.0765% climbed more than 1% to $1.4356. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will release its interest-rate decision on Thursday. Ahead of that on Wednesday, the Conservative government will unveil its annual budget plans.

Source: MarketWatch