Gains for miners drive UK stocks to record high

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Sainsbury’s was one of the few exceptions to a strong start for the FTSE 100 on Thursday morning, with the index rising to a new record high on the back of sharp climbs in mining stocks. The FTSE 250 also struck a record.

Shares in the UK’s second-largest grocer dropped 2 per cent at the open to 266p, after it reported a drop in like for like sales at its core retail business since the start of the year.

The wider FTSE 100, in contrast, climbed 0.15 per cent to 7368. The FTSE 250 gained 0.4 per cent to a high of 19,061.

Miners were by far the best performers as global commodity prices recorded strong gains. Anglo American led the pack with an 8.9 per cent rise to £13, the day after Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal announced his intention to buy up to 12 per cent of the company, in a move which is likely to be seen as a prelude to a potential takeover effort.

Fresnillo, Antofagasta and Randgold also climbed more than 5 per cent, with Glencore, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto taking the next spots at the top of the FTSE 100. On the FTSE 250, meanwhile, Kaz Minerals, Vedanta Resources and Hochschild topped the index.

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