Banks boost FTSE 100

The big banks kept the blue chip index in positive territory on a quiet day for corporate news.

Investors brushed off a destabilising ‘no’ vote in the Italian constitutional referendum as Barclays (BARC) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) gained up to 2%.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil nudged 0.6% higher to $52 and Brent crude oil was 1% higher at $55 per barrel, respectively.

Gold slipped 1.2% to $1,160 per ounce and copper rallied over 3% to $5,952 per tonne.


Digital health product provider CloudTag (CTAG) confirmed it is in early stage discussions with a potential UK distributor and an online retailer, which excited investors and caused the stock to soar 30.6%.

MBL (MUBL) reported a wider operating loss of £234,000, up front £45,000 in the six months to 30 September 2015 and said it has started the process of selling its trading businesses. The stock declined 20.5% on the news.

Aeroerma Communications (AEO) fell into negative territory after warning that market volatility is affecting client spending, with certain contracts either postponed. The company said it expects trading during the second half of the year to be below its original targets.

Cheaper air fares helped to fill seats on Ryanair (RYA) planes, helping the airline to fly 2.7% higher. Its load factor rose to 95% to November, which is the amount of ticket sales as a percentage of available seats on all flights that month. Wizz Air (WIZZ) also improved its load factor, as it increased 3.2 percentage points to 87% in the same month.

Gold miner Petropavlovsk (POG) announced it might have to pay less to buy a Russian gold business after the vendors indicated they would take 20% fewer shares as payment than had previously been agreed. That was the result of Petropavlovsk refinancing its large debt and restarting a project that will enable processing of ore across Russia.

Online hybrid estate agent Purplebricks (PURP) beat forecasts with half year results. Revenue and profit were better than expected, although it looks like costs will rise as it will aggressively target market share growth. The stock shot up 20.4% to 126.7p.

Behavioural health service provider Cambian (CMBN) said it will sell its adult care business for £377m to an American operator. It will be used to repay its current debt in full and leave £40m to fund a special dividend for shareholders.

Shares in audio-visual content group Mirada (MIRA) crashed 30.4% to 2.87p after it issued a profit warning, which it blamed on delays to a contract roll-out with major customer Televisa.

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