These were the FTSE’s superstar shares in April!

The FTSE has had a great month, rising over 3% in 30 days and beating the US S&P 500. But one of these superstar stocks surged by almost 41% in April!

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The past month has been pretty good for UK shares — with just over an hour left before the London stock market closes out April. Over the past 30 days, the FTSE 100 index has jumped 3.1%, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index has added 1.7%.

Surprisingly, the Footsie has suddenly started beating other major stock-market indexes. Over one month, the US S&P 500 index has dropped by 2.6%, while the Japanese TOPIX index is up just 0.8%. Maybe global investors have finally grasped just how cheap London-listed shares really are? I can but hope.

The FTSE’s April aces

Of course, and as is often the way, some Footsie shares have easily outperformed others over one month. For the record, these are the FTSE 100’s five best-performing shares since end-March:

CompanyBusinessOne monthOne yearFive years
Anglo AmericanMining40.9%12.5%36.7%
FresnilloMining25.7%-17.0%-20.3%
NatWest GroupBanking13.9%15.5%16.6%
AstraZenecaBiopharma12.6%2.4%105.9%
AntofagastaMining11.9%56.3%145.1%
*These figures exclude dividends.

My table shows share-price changes over one month, one year, and five years. Top performer is global miner Anglo American (LSE: AAL), whose shares have rocketed more than two-fifths since the end of March.

In addition, one clear theme emerges from my table: mining shares have had a good month. This is due to a mega-bid for Anglo American by huge rival BHP, alias ‘The Big Australian’.

Also, NatWest shares enjoyed an uplift following a solid set of results. This also applied to Barclays (just outside of the top five at #6), whose shares leapt 10.7% this month after unveiling decent numbers.

We own Anglo

By the way, my wife and I own Anglo American stock (as well as Barclays), as part of our balanced, diversified family portfolio. We bought our Anglo stake in August 2023, paying 2,202.4p a share.

We bought into this Anglo-South African mining firm for its dividend income and following steep falls in its share price. Alas, this stock continued to slump, bottoming out at 1,630p on 8 December. At this point, we were nursing a painful paper loss of almost 26% of our investment.

Thankfully, the shares have since skyrocketed, hitting a 52-week high of 2,786p earlier today. They have since fallen back to trade at 2,623.5p as I write, valuing this business at £34.9bn. That’s a drop of 5.8% in one day’s trading, reflecting differing opinions on how this takeover offer will yet pan out.

As for me, I have no intention of selling our Anglo stock at current price levels, even though we are now sitting on a paper profit of 19.1%. My goal is to sit tight and see whether BHP returns with a higher bid, or another mega-miner throws its hat into this takeover ring.

That said, there is some doubt as to whether BHP’s mooted big for Anglo could actually win through. With Anglo a major player in commodities in South Africa, this combination would require regulatory approval from that country’s sceptical, defensive, and beleaguered government.

For now, I will sit tight and await developments. Even if BHP walks away from its offer to buy Anglo, I suspect that the share price will settle above the 2,111p it closed at on 23 April, before this bid news broke!

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Cliff D’Arcy has an economic interest in Anglo American and Barclays shares. The Motley Fool UK has recommended AstraZeneca, Barclays, and Fresnillo. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services, such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool, we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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