London Markets: FTSE 100 moving toward best monthly gain in nearly a year

LONDON (MarketWatch) — U.K. stocks moved higher Friday, keeping the benchmark FTSE 100 on track to wrap up the month of January with a gain.

The FTSE 100 UKX, +0.09%  rose 0.4% to 6,838.47, and was looking at a 3.8% rise for the month. That would be its best monthly performance since a 4.6% rise in February 2014, according to FactSet data.

Mining and energy shares were among the top gainers following a generally rough month for the sectors. Copper miner Fresnillo PLC FRES, +2.32%  rose 3.3%, energy services firm Weir Group PLC WEIR, +2.37%  climbed 2.3% and miner Randgold Resources Ltd. RRS, +1.94%  advanced 2%.

But BT PLC BT.A, -1.56% shares dipped 1.4%. The telecom company posted a better-than-expected rise in third-quarter profit to 558 million pounds ($ 841 million), but revenue declined 3% to £4.47 billion, below the consensus estimate of £4.49 billion. The company has said it will pay £2 billion into their pension scheme over the next three years. It said £1.5 billion of that will be paid before the end of April.

Shares of International Consolidated Airlines Group PLC IAG, -0.71% turned fractionally lower. They had been higher at the start of trade after the British Airways parent said Qatar Airways had bought a 9.99% stake in the company. IAG said it “welcomes Qatar Airways’ statement that it would look to strengthen existing commercial ties.”


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