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Why Glencore Xstrata PLC, Ashmore Group plc and Fenner plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is continuing its upbeat week this week, gaining another 47 points to reach 6,578 and hopefully putting its recent four-week losing streak behind it. With receding worries about the escalation of the Syrian conflict, and more positive economic news coming from China, the markets are less jittery today.

Which shares are leading the FTSE indices today? Here are three that are pushing ahead:

Glencore Xstrata

Today’s Investor Day at Glencore Xstrata (LSE: GLEN) got off to a good start, with the company’s shares up 11.5p (3.6%) to 333p by mid-morning. Glencore gave us a few highlights earlier, telling us that the firm’s post-merger integration was completed smoothly within three months, and that savings through synergies should add up to around $2bn by 2014, which is much higher than the originally expected $500m.

Chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said “This is an interesting time for the sector, and an exciting one for Glencore. There is sound demand for commodities, and we see positive signs of financial discipline across the sector“.

Ashmore Group

Shares in investment firm Ashmore Group (LSE: ASHM) picked up a very nice 29p (7.9%) to 392p, after we heard of $13.4bn in net inflows during the year to June 2013 compared to $1.3bn a year previously. Investment performance seems to be doing fine too, with 92% of Ashmore’s assets under management beating benchmarks over three years and 96% over one year.

That all helped bring in a 7% rise in net revenue to £355.5m, with net management fees up 4% to £311.2m and performance fees growing from £25.4m to £33.4m. Earnings per share (EPS) gained 12% to 29.98p, and the full-year dividend was lifted 7% to 16.1p per share.

Fenner

A pre-close update from Fenner (LSE: FENR), ahead of full year results, sent the polymer technologist’s shares up 23p (6.1%) to 394p. Performance should be in line with expectations, and net debt should be around £125m, which is better than expected.

This year should see a fall in EPS of around 17%, according to current forecasts, but Fenner confirmed it expects a return to growth for the year ending August 2014. The results should be with us on 13 November.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.