FTSE rises ahead of US election on banks, miners

London stocks opened higher as global markets prepare for the US election on Nov. 8, with UK sentiment still benefiting from last week’s High Court decision relating to prerogative and the country quitting the EU.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 84.62 points, or 1.26%, to 6777.88 and FTSE 250 was up 113.87, or 0.66%, to 17,385.1. At 8.36am, WTI crude was up 1.47% to $44.72/bbl and Brent was up 1.27% to $46.16/bbl. Gold was down 1.26% to $1288.1/oz.

Banks helped lead the blue-chip charge. HSBC Holdings (HSBA), up 4.07% to 619p, has posted Q3 pretax profits of $843m, down 86% from $6,097m a year ago. On an adjusted basis, pretax profits rose 7% to $5,591m. Barclays (BARC), up 1.38% to 183.85p, was further back.

Miners were also onthe front foot after BHP Billiton (BLT), up 4.31% to 1216.25p, with Antofagasta (ANTO) adding 3.81% to 551.75p and more following. Oil majors gained after Shell (RDSA), up 1.5% to 2046.75p, and BP (BP.), up 1.06% to 451.18p.

Overall, 88 blue chips were on the front foot. About 41 stocks gained by 1% or more. All sectors were included among the gainers, with insurers, consumer goods, tobacco, beverages, leisure and pharmas all figuring higher for the most part.

Smiths Group (SMIN), up 1.24% to 1389p, has completed the sale of its Wallace product line, a part of the Specialty products segment of Smiths Medical, to CooperSurgical Inc for a value of £140m, subject to customary closing adjustments.

Hammerson (HMSO), up 1.01% to 551.5p, has exchanged contracts for the sale of Westmorland Retail Park, Cramlington in Northumberland to Arch Commercial Enterprise Ltd for £36m.

BIGGER MOVERS

Redcentric (RCN), down 66.58% to 50.13p, said an internal audit review in relation to its interim results has discovered misstated accounting balances in the group’s balance sheet.

E2v technologies (E2V), down 14.58% to 186p, said its revenues and profits fell in the six months to the end of September amid challenging trading conditions.

Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA), down 13.79% to 0.63p, has entered into an agreement with Volcanic Metals Corp to farm-out its 75% interest in the Mandiana Gold Project in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Cambium Global Timberland (TREE), up 12% to 7p, has entered into a wood supply agreement to sell Suzano Papel E Celulose SA substantially all of the standing timber on Cambium’s 3R property in Tocantins state, Brazil.

21st Century Technology (C21), up 11.76% to 2.38p, has won a two-year contract extension to an existing framework agreement with Arriva Bus UK through to February 2019 with a customer option of an additional one-year extension.

Fever-Tree (FEVR), up 10.42% to 1070p, expects its FY results to be materially ahead of forecasts. Keywords Studios (KWS), up 9.29% to 464.5p, expects FY revenues and adjusted pretax profits to be significantly ahead of current market views.

Patagonia Gold (PGD), up 8% to 3.38p, said it is pleased with the results from its first drill programme in Uruguay. Ten Alps (TAL), down 6.25% to 0.75p, has more than tripled its FY pretax loss to £3.7m, from a year-earlier loss of £1.0m. Revenue had improved to £22.6m, from £18.0m.

RedT energy (RED), up 6.6% to 14.13p, confirms the sale of a Gen 2 energy storage machine to Jabil Inala, a South African energy solutions provider and systems integrator, operating across sub-Saharan Africa.

eServGlobal (ESG), down 6.12% to 5.75p, has warned that revenue for the year to the end of October is expected to be in the range of €14.0m to €14.5m, which is below previous guidance.

Surgical Innovations (SUN), up 5.43% to 3.4p, has completed the acquisition of the laparoscopic instruments business and related assets of Surgical Dynamics Ltd for a cash consideration of about £0.36m.

Other stocks in the news included Hiscox (HSX), LightwaveRF (LWRF), Rambler Metals & Mining (RMM), Compagnie de Saint-Gobain (COD), Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM), Ideagen (IDEA), YOLO (YOLO), Action Hotels (AHCG), Sula Iron & Gold (SULA), Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings (RQIH), Lookers (LOOK), Minds + Machines (MMX) and John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF).

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