We’ve had two weeks of gains in a row for the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE), following on from that six-week losing streak. By Friday we saw the index up 144 points on the week to 6,751, taking it just 125 points short of the 13-year, 6,876-point high it reached in May. Sentiment can certainly turn on a penny, it seems, with news of the US stimulus slowdown having provided a surprising boost for world markets.
But what of individual shares? Here are three from the indices that put in a good week last week:
African Barrick Gold
It was very much a week for miners and metal producers last week, with African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) taking the top slot with a 25.6p (15.8%) rise to 187.8p — and the price is up a further 2.5% so far today to 193p.
The price of the shiny stuff itself picked up during the week, but expectations of growing demand for commodities helped boost the sector as a whole, with steel producer EVRAZ also being one of the week’s biggest climbers.
The African Barrick share price is still down nearly 60% over the past 12 months, but it has doubled since the summer’s low point.
British Sky Broadcasting
We have to move down quite a few slots in the list of the week’s winners before we find a company not involved in unearthing valuable dirt, and the first we come to is British Sky Broadcasting Group (LSE: BSY) (NASDAQOTH: BSYBY.US), whose shares picked up 50.5p (6.4%) to end the week at 844.5p.
There hasn’t been a lot of news from Sky since it was beaten by BT Group in the battle for euro-football coverage, but the satellite telly firm has been quietly hoovering up its own shares as part of its buyback operation. At least the company itself thinks its shares are fair value now, and with a forward P/E of 14 and a dividend yield of 3.7% forecast, who’s to argue?
Halfords Group (LSE: HFD) has put in a decent year, gaining nearly 40% as its recovery progresses — and last week we saw a further gain of 24.3p (5.6%) to 460p.
Earnings per share (EPS) at Halfords have dropped around 20% per year for the past two years, and there’s a further 4% fall forecast for the year to March 2014 with dividends expected to be cut further. But there’s a turnaround penciled in for 2015, with a 9% EPS rise putting the shares on a potential P/E of 16 — and dividends are still set to yield around 3%.