FTSE closes higher as reports point to real estate M&A
The FTSE 100 was more than 0.4% higher at the close on positive US jobs figures and abating concern over the tensions between North Korea and the US.
Speculation that shopping centre owners Intu Properties (INTU) and Hammerson (HMSO) could merge helped drive shares in both companies higher, Intu up 1.5% at 247.3p and Hammerson up 1.2% at 564.5p
Troubled tool hire outfit HSS Hire (HSS) slumped 13.5% to 48p, paring earlier heavier losses, as it warns a recovery in sales will be 'materially slower' than expected and reports an increase in its first half pre-tax loss from £7.8m to £30.1m.
In the US the S&P 500 opened slightly higher this afternoon. Earlier the Hang Seng index in in Hong Kong was up 1.2% as the markets recovered after the latest bout of North Korea inspired volatility.
FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS
Soft furnishings business Dunelm (DNLM) announced the departure of chief executive John Browett with immediate effect. Somewhat confusingly the company said Browett is stepping down for personal reasons but went on to say 'the next phase of growth' for the company 'requires different leadership'. The shares were down 3.7% at 576.1p.
Technical products business Diploma (DPLM) advanced 6% to £10.90 as it reported continued positive trading in the second half of the year and confirmed it remains on track to hit full year expectations. Group revenue is expected to be up 17% although underlying organic growth is expected to be a more modest 6% as the company is benefitting from acquisitions and currency movements.
Newsagent WH Smith (SMWH) said results for the year to the end of August are on target and flagged opportunities in its travel division which delivered a strong performance and opened its first outlets in Italy. The shares were down 0.2% to £18.45.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Indian power generation business OPG Power Ventures (OPG) slumped 23.6% to 32.25p as it warned higher coal prices are likely to hit results in its current financial year running to the end of March 2018.
Uranium miner Berkeley Energia (BKY) gained 14.5% to 51.8p as it announced a $120m financing package with a sovereign wealth fund in Oman which can help bring its Salamanca project in Spain into production.