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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE mixed on Monday as resources help blue chips

03 April 2017 09:03

London equities began Monday on a mixed note with a handful of blue-chip news flow generating gains for the companies responsible, with the FTSE 100 only just ahead as a string of resources stocks made mostly minor gains.

Soon after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 7.12 points, or 0.1%, to 7330.04, while the FTSE 250 was down 26.54, or 0.14%, to 18,945.3. Crude oil prices were nudging ahead, as was the price of copper as gold and silver eased. European equities indices were barely moved and mixed.

Micro Focus International (MCRO) led blue chips with a gain of 2.7% to 2339.5p as it provided an update on HPE Software's financial results. It was followed by miners guided by several Rio Tinto (RIO), up 1.04% to 3243p, and Anglo American (AAL), up 0.8% to 1229.25p.

BP (BP.), up 1.02% to 462.2p, has agreed to sell its Forties Pipeline System business, with assets including the main Forties offshore and onshore pipelines and other associated pipeline interests and facilities, to INEOS, which would pay up to $250m consideration.

Shell (RDSA), up 0.43% to 2105p, also benefited from crude's price gain. Other areas making headway included utilities, banking, insurance and pharmaceuticals, although more than a few stocks in these sectors also lost ground.

Babcock (BAB), down 0.65% to 876.25p, has been selected as preferred bidder for all four elements of a Ministry of Defence programme to become Marine Systems Support Partner for the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers and Type 45 Destroyers. The possible deal was potentially worth in the region of £360m over seven years.

Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), up 0.18% to 7299p, was starting a strategic review of its non-core food business, French's Foods. It planned to explore all options for the business. Ashtead (AHT), up 1.21% to 1673p, said its US business, Sunbelt Rentals, had acquired Pride Equipment Corporation for $279m in cash.

To the downside, commercial property was noticeably lower, following Land Securities (LAND), down 0.52% to 1053.5p. ITV topped the blue-chip losers' ladder with a fall of 2.19% to 214.1p, and was followed by Next (NXT), down 1.78% to 4243p.

BIGGER MOVERS

Imagination Technologies (IMG) fell 68.5% to 84.5p after Apple Inc, its largest customer, said it would no longer use the group's IP in its new products in 15 months to two years time, meaning it would not be eligible for royalty payments under their current agreement.

Asian Growth Properties (AGP) soared 73.77% to 106p on confirming a proposed disposal of assets, a fundamental change of buiness, related party transactions and a special dividend.

Innovaderma (IDP) added 27.34% to 170p after stating the H1 revenue growth had significantly accelerated in H2. Trading in Q3 was very robust with January and March achieving the highest-ever monthly revenues and subsequently delivering the highest ever quarterly revenues.

Juridica Investments (JIL) fell 22.54% to 13.75p after it posted a total comprehensive loss of $37.4m, from a loss of $49.2m. It 2016, it paid dividends totalling 40p a share. NAV per share had fallen to $0.2541 at Dec. 31, 2016, from $0.8891 a year earlier, due to the loss and payment of dividends.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Iofina (IOF) dropped 13.58% to 8.75p on stating that, after reassessing the anticipated 2017 performance of all our plants, it had concluded the reduction of brine at IO#3 would have only a small impact on the company's forecast production. It saw the reduction in brine as having little impact on planned cashflow.

LGO Energy (LGO) slid 13% to 2.17% to after confirming that well GY-683 was spudded on Friday last week at the Goudron Field in eastern Trinidad. It also said its £2.5m fundraising at 2.2p a share -- announced last week -- enjoyed a strong response and closed early.

NetScientific (NSCI), down 7.83% to 53p, has widened its FY pretax loss to £12.4m, from a loss of £10.4m, after a year that saw the company focus on delivering individual development milestones within each of its portfolio companies.

Frenkel Topping (FEN), up 7.88% to 65p, has announced a strategic review by the board, including a potential sale of the group.

Altyn (ALTN), down 6.25% to 1.5p, said development of the underground mine in 2016 had built a solid platform for the future growth. It was confident of meeting targeted forecast gold output of 100,000oz in the future. Of 2016 production, gold production totalled 10,970oz (2015 15,534oz) and silver 16,520oz (2015: 26,608oz).

Minds + Machines Group Ltd (MMX), up 5.56% to 9.5p, has reported orders for more than 200,000 new registrations in its .vip top-level domain valued at $1.3m. Avacta Group (AVCT), up 4.92% to 64p, said its H1 pretax loss was £3.8m, up from £2.0m. Half-year revenues rose 20% to £1.3m.

Polo Resources (POL), down 3.72% to 5.18p, noted investee company Blackham Resources Ltd had provided an update on recent events associated with its Matilda/Wiluna gold production activities.

Other stocks in the news included Northern Bear (NTBR), TP Group (TPG), SigmaRoc (SRC), Fitbug (FITB), Watkin Jones (WJG), UDG Healthcare (UDG), Tlou Energy (TLOU), Henry Boot (BHY), Renew (RNWH), Brave Bison (BBSN), G4S (GFS), Plexus (POS), Genus (GNS), Totally (TLY), Borders & Southern (BOR), Elegant Hotels (EHG) and Georgia Healthcare Group (GHG).

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: MCRO

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