* Blue chip FTSE 100 up 0.1 pct
* Dollar falls after U.S. Fed minutes, miners gain
* Kingfisher, Kaz Minerals up after results (ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on
the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon, see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)
By Kit Rees
LONDON, Aug 18 UK shares edged up on Thursday,
breaking a two-day losing streak after commodity-related stocks
gained on the back of a weaker dollar.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent to
6,868.96 points at the close, in line with the broader risk-on
mood across European markets.
The dollar softened after the minutes of the U.S. Federal
Reserve’s July policy meeting showed that policymakers were
divided over whether to raise interest rates soon.
This helped support commodity-related stocks, as
dollar-denominated commodities became cheaper for holders of
Antofagasta, Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore rose between 1.6 percent and 5.2
“We’ve had some comments in the minutes from the Federal
Reserve last night which … were slightly more dovish than
expected, so it’s actually caused a bit of relief there because
there were some fears that they were going to hike rates before
the market’s ready,” said Jonathan Roy, advisory investment
manager at Charles Hanover Investments.
The FTSE 100 index, however, was trading below a 14-month
high hit earlier in the week, having been supported by the Bank
of England’s decision to cut interest rates to a record low and
by post-Brexit weakness in sterling.
“We’ve seen a rally very much based on quantitative easing
from the Bank of England and expectations of maybe further
easing going forward. However, as this story starts to die out,
people are looking for new reasons and new catalysts to actually
push the market to fresh highs from here,” Roy added.
Home improvement retailer Kingfisher advanced 1.9
percent after reporting an increase in sales over the three
months, and said that it had seen no impact yet from Britain’s
June 23 vote to leave the European Union.
Companies which went ex-dividend and traded without
entitlement to their latest dividend payment fell, however, with
the likes of Pearson, British American Tobacco and Legal & General all trading in negative territory.
Among the mid-caps, a well-received set of second-quarter
results also boosted the shares of Kaz Minerals, which
jumped 10 percent and touched a 4-month high.
“KAZ’s cost-cutting efforts are bearing fruit, which,
combined with a weaker tenge, resulted in profits being
pleasingly somewhat ahead of our expectations,” Yuen Low,
analyst at Shore Capital Markets, said in a note.
Bookmaker 888 gained in late trade, ending 2.4
percent higher, after Rank Group said that it was withdrawing
its joint proposal with 888 of a possible combination with
William Hill, which had rejected prior offers of a merger,
turned lower, and ended down 1.5 percent. (Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Toby Chopra)