- FTSE indices soared early on but consolidated gains towards midday, with the Conservatives anticipated to produce a slender majority in the general election. So far, energy, property and financial stocks have provided firm direction for a market shaking off pre-election nerves.

Salient blue-chip beneficiaries from the likely Conservative election coup were outsourcers Capita (CPI), up 5.47% to 1223.5p, and marine, defence and education contractor Babcock International (BAB), up 6.72% to 1056.5p.

To noon, FTSE 100 was up 121.95 points, or 1.77%, to 7008.9, remaining above the key 7000 level. FTSE 250 soared a marvellous 515.35, or 2.95%, to 17,963.3, having already peeked over the rarefied 18,000 level earlier on. At 11.29am, crude prices were up less than 0.25%.

Blue chips trailed a 7.05% surge in Centrica (CNA) to 275.55p, with sector pals SSE (SSE), United Utilities (UU.) also up. Lloyds (LLOY) led banks with a 5.97% surge to 87.03p, while RBS (RBS) tailgated. House builder Barratt Developments (BDEV) rose 5.41% to 540.75p, while British Land (BLND), up 3.43% to 837.75p, led commercial property firms.

There was just one blue chip lower, Pearson (PSON) slipping 0.31% to 1305p. In the news, Rolls-Royce (RR.) rose 0.74% to 1024.5p on retaining its FY 2015 guidance. BG Group (BG.) added 1.13% to 1187.25p as Q1 EBIT fell 52% to $945m. Man Group (EMG), up 3.3% to 184.9p on hiking funds under management to $78.1bn.

Other sectors rising included supermarkets with Morrisons (MRW) leading on a 3.59% surge to 183.25p, while other retail outfits also benefitted. Dixons Carphone (DC.) gained 2.93% to 450p, and Sports Direct Int'l (SPD) added 4.52% to 653.25p. Insurers and drinks makers were other notable gainers.


Falanx (FLX) fell 27.5% to 14.5p on news it was raising £2.64m gross via a placing and subscription of 18.9m shares at 14p each. Xtract Resources (XTR), down 10.14% to 0.31p, has raised £3m after placing 1.2bn new shares at 0.25p.

IGas Energy (IGAS) rose 10.62% to 31.25p on CEO Andrew Austin departing, a 25% cut in staff and the closure of the acquired Dart Energy’s offices in Stirling.

Kalimantan Gold (KLG), up 15.47% to 1.53p, said drilling of the first four holes at Beruang Kanan Main deposit has completed. Assay results were due next week, KLG already noting in all four holes visual copper mineralization comprising chalcocite, covellite and digenite were observed in logging.


Latest election results published by BBC, at 11.35am, showed 635 of 650 seats had declared so far. BBC forecast the Conservatives would hit 331 seats, Labour 232 seats. Scottish National would likely hit 56, and the Lib Dems just eight.

German industrial production fell unexpectedly in March. Seasonally and inflation-adjusted output fell 0.5%, having stagnated in February. Meantime, Germany's trade surplus grew to 17.4bn euros in March. Exports were 98.9bn euros, while imports were 81.5bn euros.

French industrial production fell 0.3% month-on-month in March, against a 0.5% rise in February, official data showed. Meantime, Italian industrial production rose 0.4% in March, from February.


Rosslyn Data Technologies (RDT), up 5.56% to 14.25p, said two of its subsidiaries have won two multi-year contracts worth $375,000 and £170,000 with, respectively, a Fortune 500 provider of services and technology and a FTSE 250 Strategic Outsourcing Company. Meantime, Just Eat (JE.) fell 3.51% to 478.7p on the proposed A$855m acquisition of Menulog Group.

Pendragon (PDG) raced up 4.17% to 37.5p on news of an 'excellent first quarter', and confidence in hitting FY forecasts. John Lewis of Hungerford (JLH), down 2.86% to 0.85p, has booked an H1 pretax loss of £204,000, against a profit of £50,000 last time.

Pittards (PTD) softened 3.28% to 132.5p on plans to raise up to £5.8m at a discounted 120p a share. Proceeds will help finance the acquisition of the freehold of its Yeovil factory and bring in much-needed business development funds.

Berkeley Homes (BKG) was another beneficiary from expectations that the Conservatives are set to govern for another five years rising 9.94% to 2738.5p as the markets assess the sector's prospects in light the Tory victory.

Other stocks in the news included Plexus Holdings (POS), Fitbug Holdings (FITB), Pendragon (PDG), BBA Aviation (BBA), Monitise (MONI) and TClarke (CTO).

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