StockMarketWire.com - UK traders appear determined to push FTSE indices to a positive close as they buy stocks perceived as oversold and push a slick of oil majors up alongside crude prices. Miners were in focus. Europe was surging higher.

To noon, FTSE 100 was up 131.43 points, or 2.28%, to 5905.22. FTSE 250 was up 238.72, or 1.51%, to 16,072.3. At 11.38am, crude was trading at a jot above USD31/bbl, up from just a few hours ago and a good deal from yesterday. Gold was at USD1098/oz.

Antofagasta (ANTO) remained today's king of the blue chips with a rise of 6.05% to 387.5p, but sector pals were up roughly half that, or less. Oily issues won attentions. Shell (RDSA) popped 5.73% higher to 1392p, with BG (BG.) up 4.81% to 977.6p and BP (BP.) up 3.87% to 355.5p.

The sole blue-chip faller was Pearson (PSON), this down 2.72% on profit taking to 751p after flying up almost 19% yesterday on a trading update. Roughly 80 blue chips made gains of 1% or more, and 48 of these surged by an impressive 2% or greater.

High-street retail sortied north after Sports Direct (SPD), up 4.58% to 416p, while pharmas followed Hikma (HIK), up 4.65% to 1991.5p, and financials firmed in the wake of Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN), up 4.41% to 235.65p.

Insurers, supermarkets, engineers and media issues were all notably on the front foot, but gains among house builders, commercial property and utilities were more measured. WPP (WPP) added 3.27% to 1470.5p on nabbing a majority stake in Germany's Conrad Caine GmbH.

BIGGER MOVERS

Worldview is in the process of evaluating and preparing for a possible all cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Petroceltic International (PCI), excluding those shares already under its beneficial interest. PCI rose 79.39% to 20.63p.

Mobile Streams (MOS), up 61.9% to 8.5p, sees a small H1 EBITDA loss. Revenues for the half were GBP8.1m, from GBP18.5m, however the impact of forex saw sterling's equivalent of the peso assets reduced by about GBP0.7m, versus GBP70,000.

Condor Gold (CNR), up 22.5% to 24.5p, has revealed new figures which significantly enhances the economics of its La India project in Nicaragua. Highway Capital (HWC), up 26.09% to 14.5p, has appointed Ludwik Sobolewski as non-executive chairman with immediate effect.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Euro zone's flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 52.3 in January, down from December's 53.2 and below market predictions for 53.0. Its flash services PMI slipped to 53.6, below market views for and a previous print of 54.2.

Germany's flash manufacturing PMI for January fell to 52.1, from 53.2 and below views for 53.0. Its flash services PMI was at 55.4, below the anticipated 55.6 and from 56.0 previously. France's flash manufacturing PMI for January was 50.0, from 51.4 previously and below forecasts for 51.3. Its flash services PMI was 50.6, from 49.8 and ahead of views for 50.1.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Pinnacle Tech (PINN), down 19% to 10.13p, posted a FY pretax loss of GBP1.4m, from a year-ago loss of GBP1.9m. It has agreed to acquire Ancar-B Technologies and Weston Communications for GBP5m in cash and shares. It intends to raise GBP4.55m via a placing at 4.2p a share.

Oxford Instruments (OXIG) firmed 11.06% to 645.25p as it spelled out that orders in the quarter to Dec. 31, 2015, were up on the same period a year agoon both a reported and organic, constant currency basis.

Northern Petroleum (NOP), up 10.05% to 3.01p, said the acquisition of the Canadian production and reserves assets (Rainbow Assets) has completed. Meantime, Record Plc (REC), up 12.45% to 24.88p, said assets under management equivalents rose to USD53.5bn at Dec. 31, 2015.

Providence Resources (PVR), up 8.8% to 10.88p, has provided a technical update on a major new multi-client 3D seismic programme, which is planned to be acquired by Searcher Seismic Pty Ltd in summer 2016, subject to regulatory approvals.

Thor Mining (THR), down 8.4% to 0.03p, said Australian company PC Gold Pty Ltd expects a decision late next week on the availability of unconditional financing for the conditional acquisition of Thor's gold interests.

DekelOil Public (DKL), up 6.82% to 1.18p, operator and 51% owner of the vertically integrated Ayenouan palm oil project in Cote d'Ivoire, has signed an agreement with a local smallholder, which owns about 1000 ha of mature estates.

The Mission Marketing Group (TMMG) firmed 6.33% to 42p on expecting its prelims to hit expectations. Distil (DIS) fizzed 5.41% higher to 0.98p, albeit off a low base, on news of strong Christmas trading in the UK and in key international markets.

Circle Property is planning a move to AIM. It has a portfolio of 16 properties worth GBP74m. No word yet on how much it intends to raise or when it will list.

Other stocks in the news included Fusionex (FXI), The Character Group (CCT), President Energy (PPC), Close Brothers (CBG), Workspace (WKP), Pantheon Resources (PANR), eServGlobal (ESG), StatPro (SOG), Workspace (WKP), Computacenter (CCC), Craneware (CRW), PureTech Health (PRTC), IXICO (ICI), Helios Underwriting (HUW) and JKX Oil & Gas (JKX).



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