FTSE opens cautiously higher on oilies, miners

London equities got off to a cautiously positive start as oil majors were boosted by a heady rise in the price of crude oil, with this sector followed by multiple rising miners and utilities.

At 8.32am, WTI crude was up 5.4% to $54.28/bbl and Brent was up 5.15% to $57.13/oz. Gold was down 0.48% to $1156.3/oz. Three-month industrial metals prices were firming.

Among oilies, Shell (RDSA) rose 2.31% to 2135.75p, and BP (BP.) up 2% to 485.75p. On miners, BHP Billiton (BLT) rose 3.1% to 1397p and Anglo American (AAL) rose 1.85% to 1236.5p.

A 50:50 consortium between Glencore (GLEN) and Qatar Investment Authority has agreed to acquire a 19.5% interest in the Rosneft from Rostneftegaz for €10.2bn. Glencore rose 0.83% to 302.5p.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 10.04 points, or 0.14%, to 6964.25, while FTSE 250 was up 9.48, or 0.05%, to 17,742.6. However, blue chips on the up numbered just 27.

Also among the risers were several utilities after Centrica (CNA), ahead 0.51% to 218.1p, but others were lower.

Meantime, gold-sensitive miners were led lower by Polymetal (POLY), down 4.05% to 751.25p, Randgold (RRS), off 2.51% to 5717.5p, and Fresnillo (FRE), down 1.94% to 1161p.

Also notably lower were house builders, commercial property, retail-related, insurers and several banks, although others in these sectors made gains.


E2V Technologies (E2V) rose 46.57% to 271.88p as it recommended a cash offer by Rhombi Holdings, which is a subsidiary of Teledyne Technolgies. The offer of 275p a share valued E2V’s share capital at about £619.6m.

Ferrum Crescent (FCR) fell 10.42% to 0.21p as it conditionally raised £550,000 at 0.2p a share. Net procees would go to general working capital and expenditure on its two principal metals projects.

North River Resources (NRRP), down 10% to 6.75p, has announced drill results and an assessment of its recently completed underground diamond drilling programme at the Namib Project in Namibia.


Petards (PEG), up 8.52% to 23.88p, has been awarded a contract to supply Siemens Mobility Division (Siemens) with Petards eyeTrain systems. The order is worth about £2m.

Metal Tiger (MTR), up 7.94% to 1.7p, has provided an update on the drilling and exploration progress at the Logrosan Minerals joint venture in Extremadura, Spain.

Molins (MLIN), down 7.48% to 49.5p, said trading to date in the final quarter has been materially lower than expected, and that as a result directors are revising downwards their expectation of FY performance.

Marlowe (MRL), up 6.9% to 310p, has posted an H1 pretax profit of £0.5m, on revenue of £17.7m. It also planned to raise about £10m, at 290p a share, to support its acquisition-led growth strategy.

Filtronic (FTC), up 6.58% to 10.13p, said its broadband business unit has entered into a multi-year supply agreement with a major defence equipment manufacturer to supply specialist high frequency modules for a latest generation defence related aerospace application.

Cohort (CHRT), down 6.2% to 386p, has reported adjusted operating profit of £3.9m for the six months to end-October, up 11% on last time. Revenue rose to £50.0m, from £49.7m. Hydrodec (HYR), up 5% to 2.1p, said it continued to make strong progress towards positive group EBITDA in H2.

Fusionex (FXI), up 3.69% to 168.5p, has won a contract that is expected to generate more than a million dollars of revenue over time, for its next generation Big Data platform, GIANT 2016, with a major Asian bank.

Plutus PowerGen (PPG), up 3.03% to 2.55p, has successfully received Capacity Mechanism (CM) contracts for three 20MW sites in the UK. Each operational site awarded a CM contract will receive an additional £450,000 in revenue per annum for a period of 15 years, commencing 2020.

Hardide (HDD), down 3.03% to 0.8p, has posted a FY group operating loss of £1.47m, up from £0.22m last time. Sales were affected by the oil and gas downturn and fell to £2.14m, from £3.00m. Nostra Terra (NTOG), up 4.17% to 1.88p, has issued an operational and financing update for its recently acquired Pine Mills oil field in Texas.

Other stocks in the news included WS Atkins (ATK), ECO Animal Health (EAH), Prospex Oil & Gas (PXOG), C&C (CCR), Sound Energy (SOU), Secure Property Development & Investment (SPDI), Etalon (ETLN), Local Shopping REIT (LSR), Real Estate Investors (RLE) and IP Group (IPO).

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