MARKET REPORT: Chinese whispers send mining stocks soaring

Mining stocks pressed higher amid reports that China could unveil a major stimulus package to turbocharge its economy.

The Chinese government is considering new measures to prop up its faltering property market.

Actions could include cutting the down payment for a mortgage in some neighbourhoods, reducing agent commissions on deals, and relaxing restrictions for residential purchases, Bloomberg reported.

It comes as the world’s second-largest economy could provide further policy support as part of its post-pandemic recovery.

Such hopes lifted China-exposed stocks, with Anglo American adding 5.2 per cent, or 118.5p, to 2418p, while Antofagasta was up 5.5 per cent, or 76.5p, to 1459.5p, Glencore gained 4.1 per cent, or 17p, to 433.9p and Rio Tinto climbed by 3.8 per cent, or 184p, to 5070p.

Digging deep: The world's second-largest economy could provide extensive policy support as part of its post-pandemic recovery, boosting China-exposed stocks such as miners

Digging deep: The world’s second-largest economy could provide extensive policy support as part of its post-pandemic recovery, boosting China-exposed stocks such as miners

There were also gains for Prudential, the insurer, which increased by 5.7 per cent, or 62p, to 1153p, while banking giant Standard Chartered rose 3.8 per cent, or 22.4p, to 664p.

The London stock market ended the week in positive territory, with the FTSE 100 up 1.6 per cent, or 117.01 points, to 7607.28, while the FTSE 250 climbed 1.7 per cent, or 321.55 points, to 19,149.31.

There was a double dose of major news across the Atlantic after the US debt ceiling deal passed through the Senate.

This paved the way for the government to suspend its self-imposed limit on borrowing until January 1, 2025, and avoid defaulting on its debt.

And the world’s largest economy surpassed forecasts by adding 339,000 jobs last month – way ahead of the 190,000 economists had expected.

Oil prices rose 2 per cent as Brent crude hit $76 a barrel. Oil producers at Opec and its allies are set to meet on Sunday.

In April, Opec announced plans to slash supply by nearly 1.2m barrels a day.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said that there was an ‘outside risk that oil ministers could surprise the markets with another production cut, given the recent weakness seen in prices’.

Aviva added 2.6 per cent, or 10.5p, to 409.1p after the insurer completed a £300m share buy-back programme.

The repurchase scheme, which began in March, saw the group buy nearly 73m shares at an average price of 412p a share.

Shareholders at Purplebricks overwhelmingly voted in favour for the embattled online estate agent to be snapped up by one of its rivals for £1.

At a general meeting, 91.15 per cent of participating investors backed the bid from Strike.

Shares in Purplebricks, which are expected to be cancelled from AIM on June 16, tumbled 17.1 per cent, or 0.09p, to 0.42p.

Revolution Beauty hailed the ‘important step’ that it had made towards lifting the suspension on its shares after the cosmetics group posted its delayed results for the six months to the end of August 2022.

It stopped trading in September last year after its auditor BDO identified ‘serious concerns’ over the annual accounts, causing it to miss its deadline for reporting the numbers and triggering the suspension of its shares. The company posted a loss of £13.4m in the six months to August 31, compared with a £28.9m loss the year before.

Pelatro, the marketing software company, won a recurring contract worth around £519,000 every year to provide its platform to a Middle East telecommunications group. Shares rose 19.2 per cent, or 1.25p, to 7.75p.

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