FTSE flies on resources, supermarkets; Europe gains

FTSE indices flew up in early deals with gorilla resources stocks, insurers and supermarkets leading the northbound blue-chip stampede. Europe was up strongly, but Wall St was lower overnight and Asia was mixed. Traders are mindful of potential US and European rate hikes.

Shortly after the open, FTSE 100 was up 108.53 points, or 1.82%, to 6070.02. FTSE 250 was up 227.1, or 1.38%, to 16,741.6. At 8.32am, crude oil was up less than 1%, while spot gold and copper were respectively at $1145/oz and $230/lb. Industrial metals futures were mostly lower.

Glencore (GLEN) was up a frothy 6.81% to 105.33p, with Antofagasta (ANTO) following and up 3.52% to 529.5p. Mining-sector pals followed further back. Oil major BP (BP.) tacked on 3.31% to 333.6p, but gains among its sector running mates were generally more muted.

M&S (MKS) led supermarkets with a surge of 3.28% to 500.2p, while Old Mutual (OML) led a posse of insurers up with its rise of 2.69% to 188.95p. Banks trailed Barclays' (BARC) gain of 2.52% to 252.65p and investment specialists chased Schroders (SDR), up 2.45% to 2843p.

Randgold (RRS) appeared to be the only blue-chip faller, off 0.42% to 3929.5p. At the tail end of the top-100 risers were a congregation of commercial property and house builders. Land Securities (LAND) added 0.48% to 1259p and Berkeley (BKG) rose 0.86% to 3452.5p.


Ultima Networks (UTN), down 60% to 0.1p, has called a general meeting with proposals to dispose of its operating activities, raise £0.75m via a placing, make board changes, undertake a capital reorganisation and adopt of a new investing policy.

Steris Corp and Synergy Health (SYR), up 44.08% to 2276.5p, said the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has denied the Federal Trade Commission's request for a preliminary injunction to block the company's acquisition of Synergy Health.

Bagir Group (BAGR), down 31.82% to 3.75p, said H1 revenue was $45.5m, from $48.0m. Operating loss was $1.9m, from $0.0m. Bagir's recovery plan has been extended to focus core activities on higher value added products with better returns.

SerVision (SEV) has falled 21.51% to 3.63p has conditionally raised £0.79m gross via a placing of 22.8m shares at 3.5p each. Proceeds would be used to satisfy the company's existing order book and for working capital.


Renewable Energy Generation (WIND), down 12.22% to 39.5p, expects to book a non-cash impairment of no less than £7m in the FY. Underlying EBITDA was seen about £1.3m, in line. It is progressing procurement of four new UK onshore wind projects totalling 26MW.

African Potash (AFPO), up 9.82% to 3.13p, has agreed to establish a sale price of $500 per metric tonne (MT) in respect of 50,000MT of fertiliser product. Its pretax profit margin on this transaction is expected to be 6%.

President Energy (PPC), up 5.41% to 9.75p, announces a significant increase in Reserves on its 100%-owned and operated Puesto Guardian Area. It said proved, probable and possible oil reserves had increased 32% to 23.1MMBls.

IPPlus (IPP), up 5.56% to 14.25p, said following confirmation of agent positions it believes the expected revenue from the initial six month phase of on the new Ansaback call centre contract is likely to exceed £1m.

Just Retirement Group (JRG), up 2.07% to 175.35p, and Partnership Assurance (PA.), up 0.09% to 144.63p, are to raise £150m in a placing to help pay for the planned merger of the pair. JRG shareholders are expected to own 60% of the enlarged group, and those of PA. about 40%.

Nektan (NKTN), up 2.3% to 156p, said its US joint venture with Spin Games LLC, Respin LLC, continues to see considerable momentum building in the US from its first mover advantage. It was also encouraged by strong month-on-month growh in Europe.

Other stocks in the news included Plant Health Care (PHC), Wildhorse Energy (WHE), Symphony Environmental (SYM), Inspired Capital (INSC) and Reach4entertainment (R4E).