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Miners on a roll as commodity prices strengthen

04 April 2017 16:46

Mining stocks remained on top as commodity prices rise on a quiet day for corporate news.

Slower housing activity growth weighed on the UK construction sector as the Purchasing Managers' Index fell from 52.5 in February to 52.2 in March.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil climbed over 1% to $50.76 and $53.82 per barrel, respectively.

Gold was 0.4% higher at $1,255 per ounce and copper was stabled at $5,732 per tonne.


On Wall Street, investor sentiment remained subdued ahead of US President Donald Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.9% down on Tuesday. Other stock markets in China and Hong Kong climbed up to 0.5% higher.


Bunzl (BNZL) acquired two safety businesses in the US and Italy, prompting the shares to rise 1.2% to £23.29.


Network security solutions provider Sophos (SOPH) said March 2017 revenue and earnings would come in ahead of previous guidance after a strong end to the financial year. Shares in the company sparked 11.4% to 303p.


Hague and London Oil (HNL) confirmed it is currently in late-stage discussions regarding a potential acquisition, sparking a share price rally of nearly 21% to 11.9p.

Regency Mines (RGM) rose 9% to 1.2p after its operator Horse Hill Development said the Oil and Gas Authority consented to extend the current PEDL137 and PEDL246 retention areas until 2021.

Online fashion retailer ASOS (ASC) was flat at £59.71 as its retail gross margins fell 40 basis points to 47%. Its first half pre-tax profits rose to £27.3m, up from £233.9m.

Non-network based telecoms firm AdEPT Telecom (ADT), up 13.3% to 359.7p, expected its FY underlying EBITDA to be about 20% up on last time and ahead of market forecasts of an 18% rise year-on-year.

Energy consultancy Utilitywise (UTW) disappointed investors as it swung into a first half pre-tax loss of £5.96m, down from a profit of £11.8m. Investors were concerned as the stock slumped 11% to 140p.

Asa Resource Group (ASA) received anonymous allegations relating to operations at its 85%-held Freda Rebecca Gold Mine in Zimbabwe. Management strongly suspected certain disgruntled former employees might be at the root of the issues, but this didn't stop the stock from falling 5% to 1.9p.

Tile specialist Topps Tiles (TPT) slipped 7.7% to 89.7p as total revenues for the 26 weeks to 1 April declined to £106.5m, from £108m, as like-for-like revenues fell 1.9%. Trading in the second quarter reflected softer market conditions.

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