FTSE flies ahead as blue-chips rise en masse

London stocks marched higher in early deals as the market again showed positive sentiment in the face of Donald Trump’s US election win and UK’s non-binding Brexit vote. DCC (DCC) and Taylor Wimpey (TW.) led on well-received news.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 78.64 points, or 1.17%, to 6809.07, while FTSE 250 was up 152.55, or 0.87%, to 17,597.5. At 8.39am, WTI crude was up 0.05% to $43.43/bbl and Brent was up 0.31% to $44.89/bbl. Gold was down 0.58% to $1217.2/oz.

DCC (DCC), up 8.33% to 6537.5p said DCC Energy has agreed to acquire Gaz Europeen Holdings, a natural gas retail and marketing business which supplies business and public sector customers in France. DCC also posted an H1 pretax profit of £80.6m, from £52.5m.

Taylor Wimpey (TW.), up 2.68% to 149.5p, said H2 trading into the autumn selling season has been strong, with good levels of customer confidence and demand underpinned by a wide range of mortgage products.

Blue-chip risers outnumbered fallers 88 to 12. About 52 of these risers firmed by 1% or more. Most sectors were represented to the upside, with retail, supermarkets, house builders, miners, pharmas, insurers and banks doing particularly well.

Barclays (BARC) rose 3.02% to 207.85p, M&S (MKS) added 3.16% to 337.55p, BHP Billiton (BLT) firmed 2.98% to 1338.25p, Aviva (AV.) gained 2.29% to 462.05p and Shire (SHP) accelerated 2.1% to 5102.5p and Persimmon (PSN) advanced 2.73% to 1733p.

US rates-sensitive utilities figured notably lower behind Severn Trent (SVT), down 1.95% to 2134.5p, while National Grid (NG.) flopped 1.66% to 939.85p. More followed.


Standard Life (SL.), up 1.13% to 367.8p, notes an announcement by Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC) with reference to the scheme of amalgamation proposed by HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd (HDFC Life) involving HDFC Life, Max Life Insurance Company Ltd (MLIC), Max Financial Services Ltd, and Max India Ltd.

Legal & General (LGEN), up 1.7% to 233.8p, has completed a £1.1bN pension buyout for the Vickers Group Pension Scheme, part of the Rolls-Royce Group, covering over 11,000 members. L&G Retirement sales year to date are £6.7bn, with £6.3bn in annuities and £0.4bn in lifetime mortgages.

Lonmin (LMI), up 4.36% to 203.5p, posts an underlying operating profit of $7m for the year to the end of September against a loss of $134m last time. Revenues totalled $$1,118m against $1,293m and operating losses narrowed to $322m from $2018m.


AFC Energy (AFC), up 35.84% to 25.13p, has successfully completed the development of its Generation 2 (Gen2) fuel-cell system. It incorporates design changes to extend the operating life of the fuel cell stack whilst increasing stack availability and reducing stack cost.

Aureus Mining (AUE), down 14.47% to 1.62p, has booked Q3 revenues to $18.8m from gold sales of 14,139 ounces. Operating cash costs were $1971 per ounce, and all-in sustaining cash costs were $2153 an ounce.


Akers Biosciences (AKR), up 6.52% to 245p, has reported total Q3 revenue of $613,198, up 262% and all from product sales. MTI Wireless Edge (MWE), up 4.12% to 25.25p, has issued a lower Q3 pre-tax profit of $763,000, from a profit of $828,000 a year ago. Revenue improved to $17.6m, from $13.4m.

21st Century Technology (C21), up 4.76% to 2.75p, has been selected by OFJ Connections Gatwick Airport to provide integrated real-time passenger information and connected bus systems with a value of about £1m, including ongoing support.

Greencore Group (GNC), up 3.56% to 302.3p, reports continued growth in the year to the end of September and announced the proposed $747.5m acquisition of Peacock Foods. Strategic Minerals (SML), up 2.94% to 0.52p, has today agreed, in conjunction with its joint venture partner Rarus Ltd, to provide funding to Central Australia Rare Earths Pty Ltd (CARE).

Kingspan (KGP), up 3.43% to 23.81p, expects a FY trading profit of about €335m, more than 30% ahead of prior year, but said it is conscious that much of the seasonally variable Q4 remains.

Venture Life (VLG), up 2.73% to 56.5p, expects to report revenue for the year ending 31 December 2016 of not less than £14.0m, an increase of more than 50% on Group revenue reported for the year ended 31 December 2015.

William Hill (WMH), up 2.54% to 290.8p, said it continues to expect FY operating profit1 to be at the top end of the previous £260-280m guidance, subject to normalised gross win margins in the rest of the year.

AFH Financial (AFHP), up 2.48% to 165.5p, expects results for the twelve months to Oct. 31 to show continued growth driven by higher average levels of revenue generated by its advisers with a year on year increase in turnover expected to be over 15%.

Other stocks in the news included Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF), Playtech (PTEC), DiamondCorp (DCP), RedT Energy (RED), Harworth (HWG), Sterling Energy (SEY), Interserve (IRV), SyQic (SYQ), Aluminium Bahrain (ALBH) and Castleton Technology (CTP).

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