- FTSE indices tiptoed higher in early deals with broader financial and retail sector stocks lending support following overnight gains on Wall St and mixed Asian markets this morning.

Shortly after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 17.62 points, or 0.26%, to 6723.89, while the FTSE 250 was up 54.65 points, or 0.35%, to 15,592.3.

Financial stocks were prominent, led up by Lloyds (LLOY), which gained 1.15% to 76.26p. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) added 1.06% to 365.95p. Off the northbound pace but still up were insurers, piloted by Prudential (PRU), up 1.02% to 1433p.

Among retailers marching tentatively higher were crisis-hit Tesco (TSCO), which rose for a second day after its accounting gaffe on Monday. It was up 0.87% to 196.6p. Morrison's (MRW) also rose, as did Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) and Marks & Spencer (MKS).

AMEC (AMEC) led the blue-chip gainers with a 2.11% rise to 1088.5p. Among the other gainers were several pharma companies and commercial property outfits. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), up 0.79% to 1439.75p, has named Sir Philip Hampton as incoming chairman in January.


UK Mail Group (UKM), down 16.79% to 470.13p, said overall it had a satisfactory H1, and its performance was broadly in line with previous expectations. Q2 had been challenging with parcel volumes below expectations. UKM said it was too early to assess any impact on the FY.

Surface Transforms (SCE) has signed a 'game changer' pre-production contract with an international aerospace system supplier for the supply of its carbon ceramic brake discs onto a US military aircraft. Its shares soared 29.03% to 10p.


Penna Consulting (PNA), up 6.95% to 138.5p, said the enhanced level of trading it referred to at end-July has continued into August and that in the five months to August 2014 net revenue was 23% higher than last year and pretax profits were 80% higher.

Haynes Publishing Group (HYNS), up 5.88% to 180p, said its results for the year were ahead of market expectations. Revenue was up 6%, and it booked an adjusted profit before tax of £4.2m, up 31%.

Mitchells & Butlers (MAB), down 2.42% to 395.8p, said total FY sales growth was 3.8%, with like-for-like sales increasing by 0.6%. Trading in July improved after the World Cup, but in August it was difficult in the pub market due to consumer caution and rainfall.

Park Group (PKG) said the positive benefits to it of the UK economic rebound have continued and its order books are well ahead of this time last year. Its shares rose 0.44% to 57.25p.

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