StockMarketWire | 31/05/2016 - 14:30
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Mixed news on economic progress and lower Brent crude oil prices pushed the FTSE 100 into negative territory.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.08% to 6,265.71 and FTSE 250 fell 0.09% to 17,216.04.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil advanced 0.2% to $49.43, while Brent crude oil retreated 0.62% to $49.45 per barrel, respectively.

Gold declined 0.16% to $1,211.9 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.28% to $4,651.83 per tonne.


Financial services company Alliance Trust (ATST) said a merger with RIT Capital Partners is in preliminary stages, with no certainty that an offer will be made, boosting shares 3.3% to 525.5p.

The European Central Bank said Eurozone loans to household increased 1.5% in April, in line with forecasts.

German retail sales, excluding automobiles, defied positive expectations and declined 0.9% in April, according to the Federal Statistics Office.

The rate of unemployment in the Euro area was unchanged from March, remaining at 10.2% in April, while Euro area annual inflation is expected to be up to -0.1% in May, according to Eurostat.


Online trader IG (IGG) announced full-year earnings are expected to be ahead of expectations as its robust performance was offset by strong trading revenue, nudging shares up 0.5% to 802p.

Property company St Modwen (SMP) retreated 0.6% to 327.1p, despite trading for the year starting well as it extracted value from various opportunities within its land bank.


Proton therapy system provider Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) suffered operating losses of more than £8m in the year to 31 December 2015 after developing the LIGHT cancer systems, which the company hopes to bring to market. Shares dropped 4% to 7.68p.

Speciality chemical firm HaiKe Chemical Group (HAIK) revealed its net profit was CNY2.3m, up from a loss of CNY1.6m in the first four months of 2015 after upgrading its product mix and undergoing cost-saving initiatives. Shares shot up 33.3% to 13p.

Power solution provider Proton Power Systems (PPS) advanced 16.7% to 4.38p after signing a &euro15m framework agreement for fuel cell emergency power units with a German company.

Software solutions company Kainos Group (KNOS) became more profitable as total sale orders rose in the first quarter, but proposed a lower final dividend of 4.2p compared to last year, causing shares to slide 3.3% to 190.5p.

Asia-Pacific online gaming company PCG Entertainment (PCGE) said it is in a dispute with a supplier over debt repayment, which could affect its financial position in the future. Investors were not happy with the news as shares plummeted 36.5% to 0.54p.

African oil and gas firm SacOil (SAC) advised shareholders its full-year basic earnings per share is expected to increase, driving shares up 10.3% to 0.91p.

Vehicle monitoring technology company Seeing Machines (SEE) fell nearly 8.6% to 3.2p, despite receiving $400,000 of revenue from Caterpillar through royalties on products and services in the first quarter.

APC Technology (APC) said its revenue fell by nearly £2m as a result of weak component bookings in the second half of 2015, triggering a drop of 1.4% to 9p.

Energy technology group Intelligent Energy (IEH) plummeted 8.3% to 11.4p after its pre-tax profit widened to £67.3m in the six months to 31 March.

Mineral exploration company Minco (MIO) recorded a loss of $426,000 in the first quarter, compared to a profit of $482,000 for the same period last year as a result of foreign exchange losses and higher costs. Shares retreated 17.8% to 0.76p.

Mobile money network Monitise (MONI) stopped talks over the sale of its content business, as a result of strong performance of its units offering better value to shareholders. The market was not impressed with this decision with shares retreating 9% to 2.87p.

By StockMarketWire | 31/05/2016 - 09:00

London stocks opened cautiously higher ahead of a raft of economic data out of the euro zone and the US against a backcloth of traders jittery about the state of the global economy, Greece debt, Brexit, China's growth prospects and potential US rates rises.

Financials, tobacco, pharmas and utilities figured northbound. RSA Insurance (RSA) guided with a 1.7% surge to 490.3p, with Worldpay (WPG) adding 1.51% to 276.3p. Lloyds (LLOY) firmed 1.09% to 73.24p, while HSBC (HSBA) rose 0.98% to 452.83p. More sector pals followed.

British American Tobacco (BATS) puffed up 0.83% to 4240.5p, while Imperial Brands (IMB) sparked up 0.66% to 3811p. Among pharmas, Astrazeneca (AZN) gained 0.57% to 4045.5p and Shire (SHP) rose 0.4% to 4306p. Several utilities traced United Utilities (UU.) rise of 0.49% to 975.75p.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 14.21 points, or 0.23%, to 6285.0, a month high. FTSE 250 added 9.87, or 0.06%, to 17,242.1, testing levels last seen at end-December 2015. Europe was lower, while Wall St and Asia had gained. At 8.30am, WTI crude was at USD49.58/bbl and Brent was at USD49.64/bbl. Gold was trading at USD1215/oz.

Blue-chip winners outnumbered losers 58 to 42, although moves were overall muted. Also ahead were oilies behind Shell (RDSA), rising 0.27% to 1679.5p, complemented by a number of supermarkets, consumer goods and leisure stocks.

To the downside, miners, commercial property and house builders were prominent. Antofagasta (ANTO) shed 1.68% to 429.25p, while BHP Billiton (BLT) lost 1.37% to 828.75p. Taylor Wimpey (TW.) ebbed 0.9% to 204.15p, and Berkeley (BKG) faded 0.68% to 3307.5p. British Land (BLND) slipped 0.79% to 754p, while Land Securities (LAND) lost 0.72% to 1179.5p.


SacOil (SAC), up 36.36% to 1.13p, has advised shareholders that its basic EPS for the full year is expected to be about 1.23-2.05 cents, representing an increase from the loss per share of 8.54 cents recorded in the year ended Feb. 28, 2015.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE), down 35.29% to 0.55p, has been caught up in a dispute over supplier debt relating to a 2015 acquisition of CPDC. "Whilst no legal action has yet been taken, this dispute could materially affect the Company's trading and financial position going forward."

Proton Power Systems (PPS), up 20% to 4.5p, has signed a seven-year significant framework agreement for fuel cell emergency power units with a blue-chip German customer. The total value of the framework agreement is 15m euros.


APC Technology (APC), down 13.7% to 7.88p, has widened its H1 pretax loss to GBP1.5m, from GBP0.7m, with revenue falling to GBP12.8m, from GBP14.5m. HaiKe Chemical (HAIK), up 12.82% to 11p, said its FY turnover fell 25.3% to GBP76.3m, from GBP96.1m. Profit from continuing operations was GBP0.4m, from GBP0.8m.

Stellar Diamonds (STEL), up 11.54% to 7.25p, said the Minerals Advisory Board (MAB) has approved the application for a mining licence over its 100%-owned Tongo project in Sierra Leone.

Intelligent Energy (IEH), down 10.96% to 11.13p, has posted an H1 after-tax loss of GBP67.3m, compared with GBP21.4m a year ago. Revenue was GBP43.9m, from GBP27.4m.

Minco (MIO), down 10.81% to 0.83p, has booked a Q1 loss of USDS426,000, from a profit of USD482,000 a year ago. The loss included a forex loss of USD159,000, versus a profit of USD665,000 in the comparative period.

Monitise (MONI), down 6.98% to 2.93p, said its Content business is performing strongly and, together with its expected growth prospects, has concluded that greater value can be delivered by retaining it within the group.

Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO), down 4.69% to 7.63p, has posted a FY operating loss of GBP8.5m, up from GBP5.7m last time.

Parity Group (PTY), up 4.76% to 8.25p, said its trading is in line with its directors' views for the full year and that the strong momentum seen at the start of the current year has continued across our core businesses.

RIT Capital Partners (RCP), down 1.51% to 1594.5p, has noted an announcement by Alliance Trust (ATST), up 3.59% to 526.75p, and said the possibility of combining the pair for the benefit of both sets of shareholders is at a very early stage of consideration.

Telford Homes (TEF), up 2.8% to 371.38p, has exchanged contracts for the sale of its Carmen Street, London, property to M&G Real Estate for net consideration of GBP63.2 million.

Other stocks in the news included Instem (INS), Renold (RNO), Norcon (NCON), Irish Continental Group (ICGC), John Menzies (MNZS), Empiric Student Property (ESP), St Modwen Properties (SMP), IG Group (IGG), DX (DX.), Global Invacom (GINV), First Quantum Minerals (FQM), AEW UK REIT (AEWU) and Frontline (FRO).

By StockMarketWire | 31/05/2016 - 06:36

Britain's blue chip index is poised to open a shade lower, according to financial websites, with today's Eurozone inflation figures likely to be the star of the show on a fairly quiet news day.

Asian markets started the day in positive territory, while crude oil prices remained around the $50 a barrel mark.


In the US on Friday, the Dow ended 44.93 points to the good to close at 17,873.22, the Nasdaq gained 31.74 points to 4,933.5 and the S&P 500 climbed 8.96 points higher to 2,099.06.

In Asia today, the Nikkei was recently up 120.36 points at 17,188.38 and the Hang Seng was 256.18 points higher at 20,885.57.

In commodities, WTI crude oil recently traded at $49.59 a barrel, Brent at $49.73 and gold was $1,213.02 an ounce.


In corporate news, interim results are due from Alpha Bank, Acron, APC Technology and Intelligent Energy and final results are scheduled to be released by Evgen Pharma, HaiKe Chemical Group, Kainos and Renold.

In addition, Nord Gold and XLMedia are set to host shareholder meetings.