News from China outweighed fears over a possible Greek debt default today, enabling the Footsie to find forward gear.
The FTSE 100 shot up 58 points to 7,052, with miners leading the charge after The People’s Bank of China outlined more measures to stimulate the Chinese economy.
Although tool hire firm Ashtead was the best performing blue-chip, the three next best performers were all miners: Anglo American (LON:AAL), Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and BHP Billiton (LON:BLT). All three added more than 2%.
Tesco (LON:TSCO) was at the wrong end of the Footsie leader board, sliding 0.7% to 235p, as the company’s former broker JP Morgan Cazenove said the supermarket needed to raise £5bn to cover its pension fund.
It is a huge blow to chief executive Dave Lewis who is expected to report a £4bn loss on Wednesday, the biggest in the company’s history.
Lewis is expected to unveil drastic new plans to reduce the pension deficit in an attempt to turnaround the grocer’s poor fortunes.
The losses follow fierce competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl, as well as from high-end Waitrose, all of which have eaten into the company’s market share.
The firm will take a further £130mln hit from the gas project in Shetland.
In small caps, shares in mining minnow Kibo Mining (LON:KIBO) leapt 54% to 7.125p after it said it has signed a development agreement for its Rukwa coal to power project with engineering firm SEPCO, making it the biggest mover of the day.
Boxhill Technologies (LON:BOX) was up 15.8%, despite trying to quell bid speculation. The shares advanced on speculation that YuuZoo is mulling a bid for the company, but the e-commerce firm said it has not received an approach from the Singapore-listed company.
Vehicle upgrade specialists Torotrak’s (LON:TRK) dropped more than 11% to 8p after it admitted it would need to raise funds through partnerships to finish its projects.