FTSE pharmas, miners aid slim top-100 gains

London stocks were marginally higher in early deals of an overall quiet session — the blue-chip index barely so as pharmas and miners eked out gains. Fyffes was in focus after recommending an offer for the company

Smith & Nephew (SN.) rose 2.08% to 1153.5p, with Shire (SHP) up 1.53% to 4396.75p and Hikma (HIK) adding 1.06% to 1719p. More followed.

Among metals diggers, Anglo American (AAL) added 0.76% to 1254.5p, while Fresnillo (FRES) firmed 0.68% to 1176p and BHP Billiton (BLT) rose 0.64% to 1381.25p.

At 8.29am, WTI crude was up 0.83% to $51.26/bbl and Brent was up 0.46% to $54.14/bbl. Gold was down 0.17% to $1170.40/oz.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 0.11 points, or about 0.0%, to 6931.66, while FTSE 250 firmed 36.52, or 0.21%, to 17,718.5p.

Overall, about 67 blue chips made mild gains, with roughly 33 falling. Capita (CPI) led with a tumble of 8.46% to 444.25p. It issued a another profit warning yesterday.

Several banks followed Barclays (BARC) south, it down 1.4% to 235.65p. Lloyds (LLOY) dropped 1.13% to 62.06p. Also softer were several insurers, house builders and utilities.

BIGGER MOVERS

Fyffes (FFY) rose 44.57% to 186.5p as it recommended a €2.23-a-share cash offer by Swordus Ireland Holding Ltd, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp. The offer valued Fyffes at about €751.37m.

Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) fell 10.45% to 1003p as it updated on Daily Mail & General Trust’s placing of shares in the company, and its Euromoney’s buyback to deliver it greater financial control and strategic autonomy.

Premier African Minerals (PREM), up 18.18% to 0.33p, has elected not to exercise its option to acquire up to 30% in Casa Mining Limited. It earlier in 2016 acquired a 4.5% stake.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Metal Tiger (MTR), up 10.17% to 1.63p, notes the volatility of its share price after the announcement made Nov. 25 regarding a potential offer for the company, which was subsequently rejected on the basis that it fundamentally undervalued the entity.

BrainJuicer (BJU), up 6.53% to 530p, said trading since it announced its interim results on 16 September has continued to be strong. FinnAust Mining (FAM), down 6.71% to 6.88p, has raised £8.5m from the issue of 76,428,572 new ordinary shares and the placing of 45,000,000 existing ordinary shares at 7 pence per share.

Condor Gold (CNR), up 5.36% to 59p, has reached terms of a settlement with B2Gold Corporation and Royal Gold over a disputed net smelter return royalty over part of Condor’s flagship La India project in Nicaragua.

Plant Impact (PIM), up 3.93% to 46.25p, has made a strong start to its FY 2017 financial year. Revenue and profit for the quarter were in line with the Board’s plans and consistent with achieving full-year expectations.

Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) (MAB1), up 2.06% to 340.38p, has completed its investment in its new joint venture in Australia, MAB Broker Services Pty Ltd.

IP Group (IPO), up 1.61% to 154.45p, portfolio company Oxford Sciences Innovation has raised £230m in a new financing round via a private placement of ordinary shares. Following completion, IP Group’s undiluted beneficial stake of 8.1% in OSI will be valued at £55.5m. IP Group has committed a further £7.5m to OSI as part of this funding round.

Marshalls (MSLH), down 1.07% to 313.6p, is confident of meeting its 2016 expectations. Its underlying indicators have remained positive in main end markets, while order intake and revenue growth remains robust and positive cash generation continues.

Other stocks in the news included John Laing Group (JLG), Plus500 (PLUS), Tullett Prebon (TLPR), Abbey (ABBY), Trinity Exploration & Production (TRIN), Berendsen (BRSN), ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT), Ideagen (IDEA), Kolar Gold (KGLD) and Lucara Diamond Corp (LUC).

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com