The FTSE 100 continued to rally closer to its record high from last April. The blue chip index rose 2% to 7,120 as the pound hit a 31-year low against the dollar.
The FTSE 250 broke to a new all-time high of 18,489, dismissing post-Brexit vote fears amid positive economic data, including.
Sterling slumped against the euro to €1.14.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose 0.4% to $48.99 and Brent crude oil was 0.6% higher at $51.22 per barrel, respectively.
Gold dropped 2% to $1,282 per ounce and copper declined 0.2% to $4,806 per tonne.
MAIN NEWS OF THE DAY
Postal group Royal Mail (RMG) shelled out $90m to buy Golden State Overnight Delivery Service (GSO) on a debt-free, cash-free basis.
Health and safety services specialist Intertek (ITRK) sparked 5.2% after analyst Jefferies raised its rating on the stock from ‘underperform’ to ‘buy’ and increased its price target from £30 to £43.
BLUE CHIP RISERS AND FALLERS
Pharmaceuticals firm AstraZeneca (AZN) was flat after revealing its peripheral artery disease drug EUCLID failed to deliver better results than existing treatment clopidogrel.
The company also reached an agreement with US-based Aralex Pharmaceuticals to licence Toprol-XL, a cardiovascular disease treatment. Aralex said it will pay Astrazeneca $175 million upfront and sales-related payments of up to $48 million.
MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Bakery retailer Greggs (GRG) fattened 0.5% to £10.51 on a trading update detailing a 2.8% rise in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to 1 October. CEO Roger Whiteside said Greggs was on track to meet full year forecasts, flagged progress with shop refurbishments and was upbeat about the autumn/winter menu.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Investors raised a glass to biotech firm Summit Therapeutics (SUMM), which soared 93.5% to 252.5p after entering an exclusive agreement with Sarepta Therapeutics.
Shares in Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) were 20% higher at 1.35p after starting work to triple the production capacity of its spices manufacturing facilities in South Africa.
Marketing services group St Ives (SIV) climbed 9.8% despite swinging from a profit of £8.7m to a loss of £5.7m as revenue rose by 7% to £ £367.5m in the year to 29 July.
Journey (JNY) said it is in discussion with Jaguar Holdings concerning a possible takeover by the company.
A profit warning caused Quantum Pharma (QP.) to crash 47.8% to 36.5p. Its operating profit fell by more than 50% from £2.8m to £0.8m and the firm speculated its performance will be materially below expectations.
Investors were unhappy with Digital Globe Services’ (DGS) recommendation not to pay a final dividend, resulting in a lower dividend compared to the prior financial year. Shares declined 16.3% to 38.5p.
Trading business Trifast (TRI) was in positive territory on a positive trading update, which flagged the TR business on track concerning organic growth performance and a benefit from a tailwind arising from the weakness of Sterling.
Sofas and carpets seller ScS (SCS) plumped 3% after swinging to pre-tax profit due to ‘significant growth across all areas of the group’ for the year to July, with orders up 14.8%.
Technology solutions provider Milestone (MSG) signed a co-operation agreement with the Social Stock Exchange to generate revenue, build membership and raise the profile of both organisations.
Story provided by StockMarketWire.com