Precious metals producer Fresnillo rose strongly today, lifted by a prediction from Capital Economics, which said it believes that despite the gold price
rising almost 10 per cent since the start of 2014, bullion will see more gains over the course of the year.
The research firm said that while the 2011 high of $1,900 an ounce may be unlikely any time soon, it is comfortable with its 2014 year-end forecast of $1,450 an ounce, representing around 6% upside from current prices.
Mondi rose strongly following Credit Suisse's decision to reiterate its 'outperform' rating on the stock.
Shares in Petrofac received a boost today after Berenberg analysts highlighted the stock's "attractive" risk-reward profile, as they upgraded their rating from 'hold' to 'buy' and hiked their target price from 1,370p to 1,740p. The broker pointed out that Petrofac has de-rated over the last year due to doubts about the sustainability of margins in the Onshore Engineering & Construction division and the high-risk entry into the subsea market.
Water group Severn Trent climbed after saying its trading performance overall remained in line with its expectations and prior guidance.
Meanwhile, bottling firm Coca-Cola HBC declined after it predicted a "challenging" macroeconomic and trading environment across most of its regions in 2014. "Persistently high unemployment is expected to continue to affect disposable income, while recent currency developments in our emerging and developing markets may add further pressure to the trading environment," a statement from the group read.
Vodafone was also in the red after revealing it paid out £1.9bn on licences in India. The telecoms giant acquired spectrum licences in 11 telecom circles in the government's 900 megahertz (MHz) and 1800 MHz spectrum auctions.
Aberdeen Asset Management extended Thursday's losses, which came after broker Jefferies cut its rating from 'hold' to 'underperform', saying that the recent acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership will not compensate for the slowdown in the group's main equities business.
Imperial Tobacco retreated from yesterday's highs following a positive first-quarter report and market chatter around the possible initial public offering of its logistics business.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 968.00p +4.93%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,018.00p +3.93%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,309.00p +3.48%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 928.00p +2.48%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,210.00p +2.16%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,460.00p +2.03%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 311.30p +1.93%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 450.40p +1.90%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 337.95p +1.78%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,781.00p +1.77%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,541.00p -3.02%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 400.10p -1.98%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 231.60p -1.91%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 95.85p -1.74%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 346.20p -1.65%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 217.95p -1.58%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,322.00p -1.23%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 926.50p -1.17%
Meggitt (MGGT) 517.50p -1.05%
Barclays (BARC) 253.95p -0.96%