European stocks extend gains as Glencore floats

By Staff Reporter
AFP Global Edition

May 19, 2011 08:00 EDT

European stock markets rose on Thursday, with the mining sector buoyed by the flotation of Swiss commodities giant Glencore.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.98 percent to 5,981.46 points approaching midday, Frankfurt's DAX 30 rallied 1.37 percent to 7,403.99 points and in Paris the CAC 40 index gained 1.26 percent to 4,027.66.

The Stoxx 50 index of leading eurozone companies advanced 1.21 percent to 2,901.88 points.

Markets had already staged a technical rebound on Wednesday after recent falls, taking their lead from firmer commodity prices.

"European indices continued to trade higher for a second successive session... led by continued confidence in resources stocks," said analyst Joshua Raymond at financial spread-betting firm City Index.

Glencore, the world's biggest commodities trader by revenue, said on Thursday that it had raised about $10 billion (7.0 billion euros) through an initial public offering set at 530 pence per share.

At this price, the group is valued at about $59.2 billion and the flotation marks the biggest IPO so far this year.

Strong unofficial trading immediately pushed the market price up.

"Glencore's offer has seen substantial interest from investors around the world and was significantly oversubscribed throughout the price range providing Glencore with a high quality, diverse and geographically spread investor base," said Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore chief executive officer.

The company, based in Baar, set on Thursday the final price for the IPO at 530 pence, at the middle of the 480-580 pence range which it had announced early in May.

Conditional trading -- unofficial trading of the shares on condition that they will eventually be fully listed on the stock market -- began on Thursday on the London stock exchange, and the price jumped to 548 pence shortly after the market opened at 0700 GMT. It later stood at 545 pence.

Full official trading in the shares will begin on May 24 in London and May 25 in Hong Kong.

US stocks had meanwhile powered higher Wednesday on the back of surging commodity prices and better-than expected earnings from computer maker Dell, traders said.

However, Tokyo shares closed 0.43 percent lower on Thursday, weighed down by weak Japanese data, falls in utility stocks and a wait-and-see mood before the release later in the day of US economic data.

Source: AFP Global Edition


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