3 FTSE Shares You Should Have Bought Last Week: Anglo American plc, London Stock Exchange Group Plc And Sports Direct International Plc

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) has put in its fourth week of rises in a row, closing Friday up 86 points on the week for a 1.3% gain to 6,631. Fears for the Chinese economy were waning again and the miners saw some respite, but there are still tough times ahead in Europe, and the end of quantitative easing is surely in sight.

Watching shares on a weekly basis is not a good long-term strategy, of course, but it can still be informative to see which way the winds are blowing. So here are two from the top flight, and one just knocking on the door, that put in a good week for shareholders:

Anglo American

What, you’d have done well to buy a miner? Yes, in a week in which it released its second-quarter production report, Anglo American (LSE: AAL) saw its share price put on 85p (6.5%) to close Friday on 1,379p.

Mining shares in general had a rare strong week, but Anglo American was boosted by news of a 14% rise in copper production and a 22% boost to nickel production, though output of that all-important iron ore dropped by 1% — but that was caused partly by a strike in the second half of last year. The firm is also shifting more precious things like platinum and diamonds.

London Stock Exchange

With the market itself looking increasingly stronger, it’s perhaps no surprise that the London Stock Exchange (LSE: LSE) is doing well — its shares rose to close at 1,561p on Friday, 96p (6.6%) up on the previous week.

The firm released a first-quarter update on Thursday, telling us that revenue was up 39% to £250m, with rises from all of the company’s services. And it did include a contribution from the recent acquisition of LCH.Clearnet.

After a 60% share price rise over the past 12 months, LSE shares are on a forward P/E of 15.5 for the year to March 2014, which doesn’t look too stretching.

Sports Direct

Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD) was one of the biggest risers of the week last week, climbing 80p (14%) to end on 647.5p, after releasing a strong set of full-year figures — sales were up 21% to £2.2bn, with pre-tax profit up 40% to £207m.

In fact, if you’d bought Sports Direct shares a year ago, you’d have seen their value rise more than 120% in the subsequent 12 months, and you’d have enjoyed an 18-bagger if you’d invested when they were as low as 35p in 2008.

Such a rise has pushed the shares to a pretty high valuation, with forecasts for next year suggesting a forward P/E of 21 — but the company does seem to be in a growth phase.

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