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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE hits highs as resources muscle higher

30 March 2016 12:05

London equities vaulted to recent highs as value hunters bought resources majors against a backcloth of rising crude and after a dovish US Fed Reserve chair Janet Yellen last night reiterated the need for interest-rate caution, which helped gold higher.

Blue-chip leader was Anglo American (AAL) with a rise 10.22% to 528.05p, chased by Glencore (GLEN), up 7.32% to 154.33p. BHP Billiton (BLT), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Antofagasta (ANTO) all rose 4.79%-6.9%. BP (BP) rose 3.8% to 358.93p, and Shell (RDSA) added 3.6% to 1709.5p.

To noon, FTSE 100 was up 112.02 points, or 1.83%, to 6217.92. FTSE 250 was up 234.09, or 1.4%, to 16,990.4. Both were at three-month highs. At 11.47am, WTI crude was at USD38.9/bbl, and Brent was at USD39.64/bbl. Gold was at USD1239/oz. Europe was concertedly higher.

Financials, supermarkets, retail, leisure and pharmas were notable among the roughly 95 blue-chip risers, with more than 50 up by 1% or more. Standard Chartered (STAN) added 7.2% to 471.08p, Tesco (TSCO) firmed 2.47% to 194.08p, and TUI (TUI) rose 2% to 1014.5p.

Utilities were guided by Centrica (CNA), up 2.07% to 231.6p, consumer goods followed Unilever (ULVR), up 1.53% to 3213p, and house builders were piloted by Barratt Developments (BDEV), up 1.45% to 576.75p. Commercial property also appreciated, as did multiple insurers.

BIGGER MOVERS

Milestone (MSG), up 93.75% to 0.78p, has agreed to issue 54.95m new shares at 1p each, raising GBP0.54m cash and settling GBP9,000 worth of creditors. Proceeds would go to working capital purposes. It also updated on operations in an AGM statement.

CAP-XX (CPX), down 18.18% to 4.05p, has booked an H1 net loss of AUD0.3m, up from AUD0.9m last time. Eden Research (EDEN), down 8.56% to 10.63p, has raised GBP2.6m gross via a placing of 25.4m new shares at 10.25p each.

Rambler Metals & Mining (RMM), down 14.71% to 3.63p, has booked an H1 pretax loss of USD1.5m, from a year-ago loss of USD5.5m. Revenues eased to USD19.5m, from USD22.8m. SolGold (SOLG), down 26.74% to 3.15p, has given an update on the Cascabel Project.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG), up 15.66% to 12p, has satisfied all outstanding conditions relating to the GBP13.55m financing transactions with London Oil and Gas Ltd. 7digital (7DIG), down 13.43% to 7.25p, posted a FY operating loss of GBP3.1m, down from GBP4.5m last time.

Bowleven (BLVN) fell 13.42% to 20.13p as it posted an H1 loss of USD132m. The culprit being asset writedowns amounting to USD133.5m. Chariot Oil & Gas (CHAR) rose 9.82% to 6.43p as subsidiary Chariot Oil & Gas Investments (Morocco) signed a farm-out agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of Eni.

Hornby (HRN), up 8.77% to 31p, said Barclays has agreed to waive the March covenant tests and constructive talks continue. It said recent trading was in line with expectations. H2 sales have been down 2% on the year, within which the UK business has been up 4% on the year.

Premier Foods (PFD) rallied 6.87% to 60.38p after US spice giant McCormick increased its offer from 60p to 65 a share, valuing the Mr Kipling to Oxo Cubes group at GBP1.5bn. Plexus (POS) slumped 5.24% to 51.88p as it posts a GBP3.49m loss for the six months to Dec. 31, 2015. The Aberdeen company also suspended its dividend.

PowerHouse Energy (PHE), down 4.55% to 0.53p, reported scheduling delays in finalising the testing programme for its newly designed PHE G3 UHt system. Component testing was completed in a timely manner, but completion of full system functionality is outstanding.

Norish (NSH), up 2.9% to 35.5p, has recorded a FY pretax profit of GBP0.56m, from a profit of GBP0.76m a year ago. Revenue was GBP27.5m, from GBP23.6m. Dividend was unchanged a 1.5 euro cents a share.

Tata Steel (TTST), up 5.31% to USD4.81, has advised directors of its European holding company to explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts.

Other stocks in the news included Akers Biosciences (AKR), Manx Telecom (MANX), XLMedia (XLM), Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments (CNMI), James Latham (LTHM), MX Oil (MXO), Ebiquity (EBQ), Learning Technologies (LTG), Circle Holdings (CIRC), Tasty (TAST) and Nostrum (NOG).

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: PFD

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