StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices closed up as M&A chatter helped drive blue-chip gains, with resources, supermarkets and energy stocks in particular focus, as Wall St reacted positively to a string of macro data.

At 5 p.m. the FTSE 100 was up 20.07 points, or 0.29%, to 6871.29, while the FTSE 250 was up 19.39 points, or 0.12%, to 15,954.8.

In the US, the Dow rose 19 points to 16,651, the Nasdaq gained 12 points to 4237 and the S&P 500 was up 4 points to 1914. In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 11 points at 14,682 and the Hang Seng was off 90 points at 22,990.

Man Group (EMG) led the blue-chip pack, up 5.01% to 99.55p on confirming it was in talks concerning the possible acquisition of Numeric Holdings. Smith & Nephew (SN.) was up 3.57% to 1029p on speculation the withdrawal of bid interest from Stryker could put Zimmer in the frame.

Weir Group (WEIR) rose 1.04% to 2611p on speculation it may see IMI as a target in the wake of its abortive attempt to nab Finland's Metso. Shares in engineer IMI (IMI) rose 3.01% to 1608p.

Otherwise a string of resource-related stocks studded the leaders' boards. Vedanta (VED) was up 2.73% to 1127p, followed by Cairn Energy (CNE), up 2.04% to 195.5p. Wood Group (WG.), up 1.75% to 786p, Fresnillo (FRES), up 1.64% to 835p, and Randgold Resources (RRS), up 1.24% to 4492p, were a jot further back.

Among the supermarkets, Morrison (MRW) rose 1.66% to 202.2p, Sainsbury (SBRY) gained 1.52% to 340.6p and Tesco (TSCO) added 1.23% to 305p. Tesco's rise came as it completed the formation of a Joint Venture with China Resources Enterprise to create the leading multi-format retailer in China.

Food ingredients group Tate & Lyle (TATE) gained 4% to 701.5p, although it said sales for the year to end-March were £3.147bn (2013: £3.256bn), 3% lower than the prior year, with adjusted profit before tax 2% lower at £322m (2013: £327m).

Rolls-Royce (RR.) ticked up 1.87% to 1035p on news it has secured a contract to design and equip a large offshore support vessel for Norwegian ship owner Island Offshore.

On the downside, Severn Trent (SVT) was up 0.41% to 1941p after it booked a FY pretax profit of £282.7m, from a restated profit of £200.2m a year earlier. Turnover was £1.86bn, from £1.83bn. Its total dividend was 80.4p a share, up from 75.85p.

DIY retailer Kingfisher (KGF) slipped 4.86% to 397p on reporting Q1 total sales up 6.1%; short of analysts' expectations. Retail profit was up 20.3% to £142m. Kingfisher also announced a special dividend of 4.2p per share.

BIGGER MOVERS

Sabien Technology Group (SNT), the manufacturer and supplier of M2G, an energy efficiency technology, has said, in light of recently delayed orders, it expects to report a loss of up to about £0.3m in the financial year to June 30. Its shares fell 20.18% to 22.75p.

Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA) widened its FY pretax loss to £0.9m, from a loss of £0.6m a year earlier. Revenue was nil. The loss for the just-finished period was due to administrative expenses and a £0.6m loss on financial assets at fair value. Its shares fell 11.36% to 0.98p.

Strategic Minerals (SML) rose 12.87% to 0.57p after its FY pretax loss widened to $28.97m, from a loss of $7.9m. Revenue totalled $37.2m, from $5.9m. The loss was mainly attributable to non-cash related charges for the year of $26.8m, against $1.6m a year earlier.

Caza Oil & Gas (CAZA) has reported another excellent result for the company's Bone Spring programme with the initial test well on its Gramma Ridge Property in Lea County, New Mexico. Its shares rose 27.94% to 21.75p on the news.

Prime People (PRP), up 7.87% to 96p, improved its FY pretax profit to £1.05m, from a profit of £0.78m. Revenue was £14.44m, from £13.04m. The company proposed a final dividend of 3.09p a share, making the total 4.09p. It also proposed to return cash to shareholders by way of a reduction in capital amounting to 15p a share.

Belgravium's (BVM) trading in the year to date is significantly ahead of the equivalent period last year, albeit commencing more slowly than expected. Its shares rose 11.76% to 4.75p. It said Belgravium Technologies has won a key contract worth about 500,000 euros.

ECONOMIC NEWS

US real gross domestic product decreased at an annual rate of 1.0% in Q1, the 'second' estimate released by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis showed. In Q4, real GDP rose 2.6%. A fall of 0.6% was forecast.

US initial unemployment claims fell to 300,000 in the week ending 24 May, a decrease of 27,000 from the previous week's revised level. The US Department of Labor said the previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 326,000 to 327,000. A fall to 321,000 was forecast.

US pending home sales improved for the second straight month in April, data from the National Association of Realtors showed. NAR's Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 0.4% to 97.8 in April from 97.4 in March, but is 9.2% below April 2013 when it was 107.7.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by US residents, rose 1.3% in Q1, US Bureau of Economic Analysis data showed. This is 0.1 percentage point less than in the advance estimate. This index increased 1.5% in the fourth quarter.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Styles & Wood Group (STY) has undertaken a capital reorganisation with every 10 existing shares consolidated into one new share and one new deferred share. The company's shares were trading at 95.5p, reflecting the capital reorganisation.

Paypoint's (PAY) FY pretax profit rose 11.5% to £46.0m, from £41.3m. Revenue was £212.2m, from £208.5m. Its dividend for the full period was 35.3p a share, from 30.4p, including a proposed final dividend of 23.9p a share. Its shares rose 0.48% to 1055p on the news.

Mitchells & Butlers (MAB), up 4.24% to 421.95p, noted the recent press speculation regarding the Orchid Group and confirms it has entered into exclusive discussions regarding the potential acquisition of the majority of the Orchid estate.

Graphene NanoChem (GRPH) posted adjusted pretax losses of £9.4m for the year to end-December, up from £5.4m last time. Its shares were down 2.65% to 64.25p.

Helical Bar (HLCL) posted record pre-tax profits of £101.7m for the year to the end of March, up from £5.0m last time. Helical's shares rose 2.8% to 385.75p.

RapidCloud's (RCI) FY pretax profit slipped to RM3.2m, from RM3.8m. Revenue was RM11.3m, from RM9.4m. It proposed a final dividend of RM0.345 a share. Its shares fell 1.36% to 72.5p.


Story provided by StockMarketWire.com