StockMarketWire.com - Strength in the mining sector helped the FTSE 100 lead the pack on Tuesday, outstripping counterparts in the US and Europe. Its 0.4% gain to 6,613.75 comparing with a 0.5% decline in the S&P 500 by 4.30pm UK time.

Engineering group Renishaw rallied 18.7% to £68.85 after it put itself up for sale following a decision by founders and major shareholders David McMurtry and John Deer to sell their stakes in the company.

McMurtry and Deer, who were Renishaw's chairman and deputy chairman, respectively, owned about 53% of the company, including shares held by their connections.

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey rose 0.2% to 166.9p even as it reported a 68% slump in annual profit after construction markets were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.

Taylor Wimpey, however, resumed dividend payments, citing a recent bounce bank in demand and its strong cash position.

Equipment rental company Ashtead dropped 0.6% to £39.95 as it booked a 10% drop in third-quarter profit, pinned on the pandemic's impact on demand in North America.

The fall in Ashtead's shares came despite it guiding for annual results ahead of expectations, with revenue now seen falling 4%, from prevoius guidance of a 3-7% drop.

Gambling company Flutter Entertainment fell 1.5% to £141.45 after its profit slumped 99% due to charges associated with its acquisition of the Star Group.

Flutter touted 'strong momentum' heading into 2021, with growth in player volumes across all divisions.

Power-control solution supplier XP Power fell 1.1% to £53.20, having booked a 49% jump in annual profit, driven by a recovery in the semiconducter sector and robust demand from healthcare customers.

XP Power declared a full-year dividend of 74p per share, up 35% from 55p year-on-year.

Chemicals company Croda was up 0.4% to £63.32 after it reported a fall in annual profit.

Croda's revenue growth was stifled by challenging market conditions in its personal care and performance technologies businesses, though it nudged up its dividend 1.1% to 91p per share.

Industrial flow control group Rotork climbed 4.4% to 373.4p as it booked a 1.6% fall in annual profit, after a slump in revenue was buffered by stronger margins.

Rotork declared a full-year dividend of 6.3p per share, up 1.6% year-on-year.

Engineering company Weir reversed 2.8% to £19.51, having posted a full-year loss after it booked a writedown on the sale of its oil and gas business and focused its attention on the mining sector.

Power utility National Grid firmed 0.6% to 828.2p on announcing that it was changing its dividend policy, with growth in the payout from the 2022 financial year onward to be based on the UK consumer price index.

Aviation services group Signature Aviation was flat at 398.9p, even as it swung to a £17.1 million full-year loss after the pandemic and related travel curbs hammered revenue.


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