Stocks rally as China-U.S. tensions ease; mines, oil lead gains

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By Euronews  with REUTERS BUSINESS
Stocks rally as China-U.S. tensions ease
Stocks rally as China-U.S. tensions ease   -  Copyright  REUTERS/Thomas White

Mining and energy stocks led a rally in British equity markets on Monday after Washington and Beijing agreed a ceasefire in their trade conflict, which has upended financial markets, and oil prices surged ahead of the OPEC meeting.

Starting the final month of the year on a positive note, the blue-chip index was up more than 2 percent at 0929 GMT after rising to its highest in three weeks, on track for its best day since April.

The index is down more than 7 percent so far this year amid lingering worries about Brexit, corporate earnings and the trade row. The FTSE 250 <.FTMC> was up 1.3 percent.

At a meeting at the G20 meeting in Argentina, China and the United States agreed on Saturday to halt additional tariffs and to meet again in 90 days to try to bridge their differences.

"The trade war may not be over, but it's at least been delayed," said Mike van Dulken, analyst at Accendo Markets.

Mining stocks were among the top gainers, as the news led copper prices to rally to two-month highs, spurring hopes for demand for industrial metals from China, the world's largest consumer.

The sector has been hurt by concerns about global economic growth amid the trade row. Antofagasta , Evraz , Anglo American and BHP were up between 5.9 percent and 7.9 percent.

Positive factory data from China also soothed worries about the health of the world's second-largest economy and engine of the global commodities market.

Oil stocks <.FTNMX0530> were up 2.7 percent as crude prices rallied 5 percent ahead of a meeting this week of the producer club OPEC that is expected to agree to cut supply. [O/R]

Among individual moves, Dunelm Group topped the FTSE midcaps after Peal Hunt upgraded the stock, citing plus-10 percent EBIT margins, 15 percent ROCE, 10 percent free cash flow yields and one of the lowest levels of operational gearing in the home furnishing sector.

Ted Baker fell to its lowest in more than four years, after the clothes designer said it has launched an investigation into claims against Chief Executive Officer Ray Kelvin.

The stock defied a rally across European luxury goods companies on hopes that the U.S.-China detente will boost demand for high-end clothes and accessories among China's burgeoning middle class. On the FTSE 100, Burberry Group rose 5 percent.

Travel company Thomas Cook notched a fifth straight day of losses after its profit warning last Tuesday, its second in as many months. It's now lost 44 percent of its value.

RPC Group was 4.3 percent lower after ending takeover talks with U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital, leaving Apollo Global Management in the lead for Europe's biggest plastics packager.

McColl's shares fell to all-time lows, sinking as much as 28 percent, after i warned on its full-year profits.