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Oct. 7, 2021, 10:03 a.m. EDT

London’s miners tear higher on optimism over global economic growth

By Barbara Kollmeyer

Mining stocks, one sector used to gauge optimism about global economic growth, surged in London on Thursday, as metals prices climbed, while natural gas prices continued to ease.

The FTSE 100 (FTSE:UK:UKX) increased 1.% to 7065.09. The British pound (XTUP:GBPUSD) fetched $1.3598, versus the previous close of $1.3586.

“As the clouds in the U.S. begin to clear a little, so the gainers in London reflect this more optimistic view of global growth,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, in a note to clients. He was referencing the rally for U.S. stocks amid hopes of progress in U.S. debt ceiling talks.

The biggest gainer was copper miner Antofagasta (LON:UK:ANTO) , which rose over 5%. December copper futures were up 1.4% to $4,204 a pound. Anglo American (LON:UK:AAL) also rose 5%, with Rio Tinto (NYS:RIO) (LON:UK:RIO) and BHP Group (LON:UK:BHP) (NYS:BHP) up 3% each.

The best sector on the London Stock Exchange though was utilities and the worst was the oil and gas sectors as crude (NYM:CL00) and natural gas (NYM:NG00) prices pulled back after a volatile day of trading on Wednesday.

November natural gas futures fell 5% to 265 pence a therm, a day after briefly spiking to 301 pence, then tumbling as Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to send more supplies to Europe . The outcome of weeks of surging energy and power prices has many analysts worried.

“However, even if energy prices fall from here, they’ve gone up so much in recent weeks that they will still have a large impact on inflation numbers in the coming months” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould, in a note to clients. “So, while the FTSE 100 was making solid progress on Thursday morning, further volatility cannot be ruled out.”

Royal Dutch Shell (LON:UK:RDSA) (NYS:RDS.A) shares rose just under 1%. The energy giant said Thursday that Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico in August hit its operations, but it expects a cash boost from high global energy prices in the third quarter.

Stocks falling included bank NatWest Group (LON:UK:NWG) , down 1% after the bank pleaded guilty to breaches of money-laundering regulations and warned it will book a provision in its third-quarter results linked to a potential fine.

In the mid-cap FTSE 250 (FTSE:UK:MCX) , TUI AG (LON:UK:TUI) was a top performer, rising 7%. The London-listed travel company said Wednesday that revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 rose significantly against the prior quarter, and said it would seek to reduce debt with a 1.1 billion euros ($1.28 billion) stock sale.

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