FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 reached a nine-month high this week, hitting an intraday peak of 5,949 points on Wednesday, before receding a little to end the week on 5,922. The index of top U.K. stocks is now only 67 points short of its 52-week high.

There were a few interesting ups and downs in individual stocks during the week, too. Here are three making notable moves.

The Evraz stock price has been sliding all year, dropping from a peak of 460 pence in February to down around 217 pence by mid-November. But the price has been recovering since and this week put on a further 19 pence (8%) to 262 pence. The steel-making and -mining company, which operates mostly in Russia, has been suffering from uncertain international demand, and there's a big fall in earnings forecasted for this year, but expectations for next year suggest it might be a recovery possibility.

BHP Billiton
FTSE 100 miners in general had a good time, with BHP Billiton leading the way as its price gained 77 pence (4%) over the week to reach 2,095 pence. In fact, since a low point of around 1,680 pence in May, the stock has risen 25% as the global slowdown in commodities demand appears to have an end in sight. There's still a fall in earnings forecasted for the year to March 2013, but analysts are expecting a recovery the following year. And there's a dividend yield of more than 3.5% on offer, too.

Aggreko Aggreko, the provider of temporary power-generation and temperature-control equipment fell during the week, losing 119 pence (5%) to 2,125 pence. This comes ahead of a pre-close update from the firm, due Monday. At the time of its third-quarter report, we were told that things were going well, but maybe investors are wary of a potential slowdown in Aggreko's earnings growth.

We had a big small-cap upset this week, after Volex, a firm that manufactures cables and wiring assemblies for the electronics industry, released its second profit warning of the year and saw its stock price tumble by 66 pence (43%) to end the week on 89 pence. This time, the company's expected second-half upturn in demand hasn't materialized, with demand actually having fallen.

What now?
As usual, this week's FTSE trading provided some large share-price movements -- and perhaps some buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has spent more than $1 billion buying the shares of one of the U.K.'s most successful FTSE large caps.

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