bargain

Miner Glencore plumbed the depths after fears about its copper production in the Democratic Republic of Congo surfaced amid a $3bn (£2.17bn) lawsuit.

Israeli businessman Dan Gertler served freezing orders on Glencore’s key copper and cobalt assets in the African country as part of his legal claim that Glencore did not pay royalties it owed from the Katanga and Mutanda mines.

Glencore denies any wrongdoing but its shares fell roughly 18.3p – or 5pc – to 350.7p after brokers reviewed their stance on the stock. Analysts at Royal Bank of Canada slashed their predictions for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation by 10pc for 2018 to $16.6bn and by 18pc for 2019 to $15.5bn.

The move is a blow for the company just weeks after Glencore and its mining peers opened negotiations with the DRC over a new mining code that could impose tough new conditions and higher royalties on the metals they produce.

These woes at Glencore helped sentiment in rival miners Antofagasta and Anglo American, which rose strongly, up 18.4p to 972.4p and 10.2p to £17.09 respectively. These jumps helped the wider FTSE 100 rise 7.09 points to 7,509.

Benefiting from rivals’ woes was a theme which extended into other sectors too. Virgin Money flew out the blocks in early trading and ended the session up 7.7p to 278.7p as troubles at TSB entered their second week. The bank still appeared to be grappling the IT issue which beset it last week and the fortunes for challenger banks were made potentially even brighter as Lloyds acknowledged on Monday afternoon some of its customers were having difficulty signing into their online accounts. This knocked its shares marginally by 0.13p to leave the stock trading at 64.6p.

There was also cheer at Irish bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair whose 65p rise to £71.80 after an upgrade from broker Numis to “add” from “hold” last week helped maintain the momentum into Monday’s session.

Elsewhere, the economy suffered its weakest growth since 2012 in early 2018, with heavy snow only partly to blame, prompting investors to slash their bets on a Bank of England rate rise next month. The dour outlook weighed on consumer-facing high-street stocks, including Card Factory which dipped 4.6p to 230.4p.

But the UK’s biggest tour operator Thomas Cook gained extra altitude after analysts at Jefferies gave the company a “buy” rating on the expectation it could sweep up a decent amount of summer bookings. The broker initiated coverage on the company with a positive outlook and set a price target of 180p, suggesting there are gains to be made from its 124p level now after rising 3.6p on Monday.

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