StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE got away to a positive start Monday morning with rising miners, commercial property and utilities all helping the blue-chip index higher, as did a softer sterling.

At about 8.30am, the FTSE 100 was up 23.24 points, or 0.31%, to 7493.95, while the FTSE 250 was up 47.13, or 0.24%, to 19,859.90. European shares indices were mixed.

Crude-oil prices were firming, while gold and silver gained as copper fell. Sterling was down on both the dollar and euro.

Gold-specialist Fresnillo (FRES) rose 1.81% to 1627p, with multi-commodity Anglo American (AAL), up 1.58% to 1110.25p. Randgold (RRS), Antofagasta (ANTO) and Rio Tinto (RIO) followed.

Also up was commercial property, trailing British Land's (BLND) 0.91% rise to 634.75p. Land Securities added 0.89% to 1078.5p.

A number of utilities, insurers, supermarkets and consumer goods were also notable to the upside, while to the limited downside it was house builders in focus.

Micro Focus International (MCRO) led lower with a 1.92% fall to 2424.5p. Barratt Developments (BDEV) dropped 0.2% to 608.75p, while Persimmon (PSN) fell 0.49% to 2419p.

In the news, AstraZeneca (AZN), up 0.34% to 5136.5p, has entered into an agreement with Recordati for the commercial rights to Seloken/Seloken ZOK and associated Logimax fixed-dose combination treatments in Europe.

BIGGER MOVERS

Active Energy (AEG) rose 34.44% to 3.02p has entered into an agreement in principle with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, that if finalised would provide it and affiliate Timberlands International with a Crown timber licence and forest management agreement relating to two Forest Management Districts covering 1.2m Ha.

Hardide (HDD), up 13.56% to 1.68p, said unit Hardide Coatings has signed a new seven-year supply agreement with Graco Inc of Minneapolis for the coating of various pump components.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) fell 12.5% to 0.1p after posting a wider H1 pretax loss. Directors had resolved to concentrate both management time and expenditure on the CS Project and to advance this towards production as soon as possible. It would look to unlock the value inherent in its other project interests through joint venture, sale or other arrangements.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Thor Mining (THR), up 9.68% to 0.85p, has announced a 55% tungsten resource inventory increase at its Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada. The resource inventory now stood at 11.73m tonnes at 0.28% WO3.

Metals Exploration (MTL), down 7.41% to 3.13p, swung to a FY pretax loss of £20.5m, from a profit of £235,643. Ramping-up operations at the Runruno Gold Project had taken longer than expected, resulting in gold output and sales revenue being lower than forecast.

Minoan (MIN), down 5.19% to 9.13p, announced the acquisition by Stewart Travel Ltd of the business of Morningside Travel Ltd for £135,000, including £110,000 worth or 1.2m of shares at 9.14p each. It also placed about 5m shares at 9p each to raise £450,000 for working capital.

IXICO (IXI), up 4.92% to 32p, said its H1 operating losses narrowed to £0.8m, from £1.1m last time. Revenue increased by 31% to £2.0m, and gross profit margins rose to 56%, from 49%.

InnovaDerma (IDP), up 4.84% to 238.5p, has announced the upcoming launch of a new haircare product range and its entry into the UK skincare market.

Eden Research (EDEN), down 4.26% to 11.25p, said its FY pretax losses rose to £1.9m, up from £1.3m last time. Revenues fell to £0.4m from £0.9m and operating losses widened to £1.9m from £1.1m.

Asiamet Resources (ARS), up 4.26% to 4.9p, has reported positive results from metallurgical test work carried out during the recently completed 122 hole resource evaluation drilling programme as part of the BKM feasibility study.

Other stocks in the news included Wood Group (WG.), Cerillion (CER), Vectura (VEC), Datatec (DTC), Restore (RST), Civitas (CSH), Safestay (SSTY), StatPro (SOG), HICL Infrastructure (HICL), Artilium (ARTA), Providence Resources (PVR), Highland Gold Mining (HGM), Sula Iron & Gold (SULA), Shanta Gold (SHG), Forbidden Technologies (FBT) and Clinigen (CLIN).




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