FTSE charges ahead despite Capita, ex-div ballast

London stock surged higher on opening with a string of blue-chip resources stocks leading the charge and casting off ballast caused by a hefty fall in Capita (CPI) and string of FTSE 350 and AIM ex-dividend issues.

Shell (RDSA) galloped up 5.36% to 1902.25p, while BP (BP.) trotted 4.18% ahead to 450.33p.

In mining, BHP Billiton (BLT) show-jumped 5.33% higher to 1155.5p and Anglo American (AAL) clip-clopped 4.88% ahead to 968.8p. More metals diggers followed close behind.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 80.21 points, or 1.17%, to 6929.59, and may in coming sessions test April 2015 closing highs above 7000. FTSE 250 was up 149.58, or 0.84%, to 17,941.9, not too far off May 2015’s closing highs above 18,000.

US rates-sensitive utility stocks were firming in the wake of Centrica (CNA), ahead 2.43% to 229.75p, with a number of banks guided north by Standard Chartered (STAN), up 1.67% to 631.75p.

Also rising were broader blue-chip financials, among them insurers, asset managers and investment specialists. Several supermarkets, although not all, made gains, too.

There were just 20 blue chips southbound. Capita (CPI), down 24.12% to 722.75p, sees FY revenue growth of 4-5%. It further sees underlying pretax profit for the 12-month period to be £535m-£555m, versus a consensus for a pretax profit of £614m.

Several retail stocks also fell, alongside a smattering of leisure and house builders.

At 8.32am, WTI crude was down 0.4% to $46.86/bbl and Brent was down 0.72% to $48.34/bbl. Gold was up 0.07% to fetch $1324.6/oz.


Life Science Developments (LIFE) has risen 18.75% to 2.38p as it booked a wider H1 pretax loss of $309,033, from a loss of $261,228. Administrative expenses and forex losses were factors in the wider loss.

Plus500 (PLUS), down 14.77% to 639.25p, said the the founders of the company have sold a total of 15.5m shares 650p a share, raising gross proceeds of £100.75m for them.

Independent Resources (IRG), up 13.89% to 0.1p, has entered into a loan agreement with Brandon Hill Capital Ltd, an existing shareholder, for an unsecured loan of £160,000 to fund short-term working capital and outstanding financial obligations.


Plutus PowerGen (PPG), down 10.34% to 1.3p, said it has been informed that Bristol Council has turned down a planning permission application for a 20MW flexible stand-by power generation site in Bristol.

NWF Group (NWF), down 9.29% to 141.5p, said that while the board’s outlook for the year remains in line with its expectations, Q1 trading has been challenging with difficult market conditions continuing in Feeds and Fuels.

Noricum Gold Ltd (NMG), down 8.33% to 0.11p, said it intends to change its name to Georgian Mining Corporation, with the epic code GEO, and also proposed to a one-for-100 consolidation of the existing ordinary share capital of the company.

Air Partner (AIR), up 7.75% to 495.63p, has reported strong H1 trading results with its broking and consulting divisions both performing well. Reported pretax profit rose 39% to £2.6m.

Northern Petroleum (NOP), down 7.69% to 3p, has more than halved its H1 loss to $1.2m, from a loss of $2.6m previously. Revenue had improved to $1.5m, from $223,000.

Harvey Nash (HVN), down 7.18% to 61.38p, has posted H1 pretax profits of £3.8m, down 20.4% down on last time. Revenue rose by 14.9% to £377.7m. Gaming Realms (GMR), up 4.17% to 18.88p, has signed a partnership deal with Express Newspapers.

Cambridge Cognition Holdings (COG), up 4.97% to 84.5p, has signed two major contracts using the company’s CANTAB Connect technology. The contracts, totalling US$3.67m, are with US biopharma firms for late-stage clinical trials and will contribute US$1.07m to H2 revenue.

Other stocks in the news included Filtronic (FTC), RPC Group (RPC), Strategic Minerals (SML), Andrews Sykes (ASY), Porta Communications (PTCM), RedstoneConnect (REDS), WS Atkins (ATK), QinetiQ (QQ.), Redcentric (RCN), Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM), Unite Students (UTG), IP Group (IPO), Immedia (IME), Global Petroleum (GBP), Tri-Star Resources (TSTR).

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com