LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) reached a nine-month high this week, hitting an intraday peak of 5,949 points on Wednesday, before receding a little to end the week on 5,922. The index of top U.K. stocks is now only 67 points short of its 52-week high.
There were a few interesting ups and downs in individual stocks during the week, too. Here are three making notable moves.
The Evraz stock price has been sliding all year, dropping from a peak of 460 pence in February to down around 217 pence by mid-November. But the price has been recovering since and this week put on a further 19 pence (8%) to 262 pence. The steel-making and -mining company, which operates mostly in Russia, has been suffering from uncertain international demand, and there's a big fall in earnings forecasted for this year, but expectations for next year suggest it might be a recovery possibility.
BHP Billiton (LSE:BLT)
FTSE 100 miners in general had a good time, with BHP Billiton leading the way as its price gained 77 pence (4%) over the week to reach 2,095 pence. In fact, since a low point of around 1,680 pence in May, the stock has risen 25% as the global slowdown in commodities demand appears to have an end in sight. There's still a fall in earnings forecasted for the year to March 2013, but analysts are expecting a recovery the following year. And there's a dividend yield of more than 3.5% on offer, too.
Aggreko, the provider of temporary power-generation and temperature-control equipment fell during the week, losing 119 pence (5%) to 2,125 pence. This comes ahead of a pre-close update from the firm, due Monday. At the time of its third-quarter report, we were told that things were going well, but maybe investors are wary of a potential slowdown in Aggreko's earnings growth.
We had a big small-cap upset this week, after Volex, a firm that manufactures cables and wiring assemblies for the electronics industry, released its second profit warning of the year and saw its stock price tumble by 66 pence (43%) to end the week on 89 pence. This time, the company's expected second-half upturn in demand hasn't materialized, with demand actually having fallen.
As usual, this week's FTSE trading provided some large share-price movements -- and perhaps some buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has spent more than $1 billion buying the shares of one of the U.K.'s most successful FTSE large caps.
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Alan Oscroft and The Motley Fool have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.