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LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) fell 32 points to 5,809 this morning as the market digested the Bank of England's inflation report.
Despite a boost from banks and miners, the index of leading U.K. shares was dragged lower by a falling AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN.L ) after the pharmaceuticals giant ceased development of what might have been a key new treatment.
But which companies are helping to support the various FTSE indexes this morning? Here are three names that look set to beat the FTSE 100 today.
Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO.L )
Rio Tinto continued this week's modest flow of good news for miners, with its shares up 3% to 3,226 pence. The mining giant reported interim earnings down 34% due to lower commodity prices. Still, the shares rose, as the figures were ahead of City expectations.
Rio's shares have now gained 17% since their July low of 2,764 pence, in line with a similar 13% rise for Xstrata (LSE: XTA.L ) , which enjoyed a boost when it released interim figures yesterday. With forecasts for a Chinese recovery growing, we could well be past the bottom for miners now.
Hargreaves (LSE: HSP.L )
Hargreaves Services rallied 3% to 724 pence after telling us the Northumberland County Council had agreed to grant planning permission for the firm's Well Hill Surface Mine near Morpeth. The supplier of solid fuels expects to extract around 130,000 tons of high-quality coal from the mine during the next two years.
Receiving the planning permission will come as a welcome respite for Hargreaves after serious geological problems at its main Maltby mine led to a profit warning in May and a 30% slump in the share price.
Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN.L )
Shares in Standard Chartered staged a minor comeback this morning, rising 7.4% to 1,320 pence following yesterday's disastrous 25% crash after the bank was accused by U.S. regulators of concealing $250 billion of sanction-violating Iranian transactions.
Part of yesterday's reaction was based on fears that the bank would lose its U.S. dollar trading license, possibly making it unable to carry out dollar-denominated transactions worldwide. However, the danger of that now appears to be receding.
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