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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE flies higher on France vote result relief

24 April 2017 08:49

London stocks flew higher on opening with both the blue chip and mid cap indices stacking on gains of more than 1% as markets breathed a sigh of relief at the first-round outcome of France's presidential election.

In France, centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen won through the first round of the election. They would face-off against one another in the second round on May 7. The market's relief is centred on Macron winning the next round.

Not long after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 123.99 points, or 1.74%, to 7238.54, while the FTSE 250 was up 208.42, or 1.08%, to 19,566.8. Gold was pricing 1.24% lower at $1273.1/oz, with silver down and copper up. Crude oil was modestly ahead.

The FTSE 100's impressive gains were easily outpaced by those of the Cac 40 and Dax. The euro was up more than 1% on the dollar, whereas sterling was lower thanks to chronic Brexit malaise.

In London, banks and financials were doing well. Barclays (BARC) rose 3.96% to 216.18p, while Standard Chartered (STAN) rose 3.29% to 708.45p and RBS (RBS) rose 2.84% to 246.6p. Among insurers, Aviva (AV.) was up 2.99% to 525.25p and Prudential (PRU) rose 2.64% to 1683.75p.

Other stocks gaining prominently included commercial property behind British Land (BLND), up 1.98% to 657.25p, oil after Shell (RDSA), up 2.35% to 2039.25p, and supermarkets trailing Tesco (TSCO), up 2.17% to 177.58p. House builders, miners and pharmas also figured firmer.

Overall, there was about 94 blue chips rising. Most of these made gains of more than 1%. To the downside, Randgold Resources (RRS), down 4.35% to 6762.5p with the price of gold, said a continuing review of its Nielle permit had confirmed multiple opportunities for extending the life of the operation beyond the current four-year horizon.

Anglo American (AAL), up 1.14% to 1130.25p, saw a strong operational performance in Q1, enhanced by the continued ramp-up of Gahcho Kue, Minas-Rio and Grosvenor which delivered a 9% increase in production on a copper equivalent basis.


Market Tech Holdings (MKT) rose 28.47% to 187.25p on news of a recommended cash offer by Labtech Investments Ltd at 188p a share. The offer valued Market Tech, on a fully diluted basis, at about £892.5m.

Galantas Gold Corp (GAL), down 27.27% to 5p, has put development at the Omagh gold mine on hold after it was notified by the Police Service of Northern Ireland that it would not provide its required anti-terrorism cover in regard to blasting operations.

Solo Oil (SOLO), up 8.42% to 0.52p, has reported a material increase in its estimate of gas initially in place (GIIP) associated with the Ntorya gas-condensate discoveries in the Ntorya Appraisal Area, Tanzania. The operator was Aminex (AEX), up 19.19% to 5.9p.


Biome Technologies (BIOM) rose 16.15% to 151p after it said it continued to make progress against its strategy, adding that directors remained confident in the group's outlook for the remainder of the year.

WANdisco (WAND), up 12.34% to 432.5p, has announced its largest-ever contract with a major financial services multinational. The agreement was signed in Q1 2017 and was valued at about $4.1m.

Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate (KWE) rose 12.67% to 1102.5p on a recommended all-share tie-up with Kennedy-Wilson Holdings (KWH). KWE shareholders would be entitled to receive 0.667 new KWH shares for each KWE share, giving an implied value of 1174p each for the latter.

Fishing Republic (FISH), up 8.99% to 48.5p, said its revenues rose 41% to £5.8m in the year to end-December 2016. Reported pretax profit increased to £403,000 from £6000.

Share (SHRE), up 3.85% to 27p, said its outlook for 2017 continues to remain very positive. Q1 trading was strong, supported by buoyant dealing volumes and higher customer numbers following the addition of books of customer accounts in 2016.

NetScientific (NSCI), up 2.75% to 56p, said portfolio company Wanda has sold its holding in OncoVerse LLC to BTG Plc for an undisclosed amount.

Lok'nStore Group (LOK), down 2.15% to 455p, said its H1 adjusted net profit rose 81.2% to £1.9m. Revenue rose 4.5% to £8.34m and group adjusted EBITDA increased to £3.31m, up 0.5%. Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 13.5% to £2.1m.

Other stocks in the news included Interserve (IRV), mporium (MPM), Accsys Technologies (AXS), Petra Diamonds (PDL), Brave Bison (BBSN) and Civitas Social Housing (CSH).

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