- London shares tiptoed higher in early deals, apparently entrenching Thursday's gains, with a mixed bag of beverages, consumer goods, leisure and supermarkets providing positive bias as mining majors succumbed to modest profit taking.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 11.45 points, or 0.19%, to 5910.21. FTSE 250 was up 25.1, or 0.16%, to 16,111.8. At 8.34am, WTI crude was at USD31.54/bbl and Brent was at USD34.13/bbl. Safe-haven gold was at USD1155/oz. Wall St was up limply overnight, while Asia and Europe were mixed this morning.

Associated British Foods (ABF) guided blue-chip proceedings with a 1.31% rise to 3176p, while Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) fizzed up 1.29% to 1339p. Consumer goods titan Unilever (ULVR) added 0.87% to 2979.25p, with pal Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) benefitting 0.85% to 6188p.

Several supermarkets traced sector gorilla Tesco (TSCO), up 0.74% to 171.15p, while B&Q-owner Kingfisher (KGF) firmed 1.24% to 323.55p. Leisure-linked outfits Carnival (CCL), easyJet (EZJ) and Merlin (MERL) rose, too, as did a string of pharmas, albeit off the pace.

Among the roughly 47 blue chips rising were property stocks of all flavours and a number of oily issues. BG (BG.), up 0.24% to 1060p, saw its FY results hurt by lower commodity prices with upstream EBITDA down 35% at USD4.17bn and LNG EBITDA down 46% at USD1.46bn. Revenue and other operating income decreased 16% to USD16.42bn.

Miners were in the lens behind Anglo American (AAL), down 4.32% to 314.13p after Thursday's glitzy gains. Glencore (GLEN) lost 4.06% to 95.63p, with some other sector players off more than 2%. Financials and several utilities tapered. Centrica (CNA), up 0.69% to 197.95p, and its JV partner agreed the sale of several wind farms for an EV of GBP423m.


Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), up 21.21% to 2p, welcomed new legislation in The Bahamas that provides an upgraded and modernised framework for petroleum exploration operations and are set to guide and govern the next phase of safe and responsible hydrocarbon exploration.

Central Rand Gold (CRND), down 15.79% to 4p, is raising GBP1.22m via the subscription of 34.99m new shares at 3.5p each. Just Eat (JE.), up 9.85% to 395.45p, has agreed the acquisition of four businesses from Rocket Internet and foodpanda for 125.0m euros to be funded from existing cash resources.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN), up 9.62% to 0.29p, confirms the acquisition of Precious Metals Int'l Ltd (PMI) and its subsidiary Black Sand FZE (together, the PMI Group) in an all share deal.


Premier Farnell (PFL), up 7.73% to 106.38p, and subsidiaries Celdis Ltd and Premier Farnell Corp have entered into a conditional agreement to sell Akron Brass to IDEX Corp for USD224.2m cash. ImmuPharma (IMM), down 6.9% to 27p, has announced a proposed conditional fund raise of not less than GBP7.5m.

Greka Drilling (GDL), down 6.24% to 3.68p, drilled a total of 76,690m in 2015, up 31% on the year. It drilled 62 wells, 53 in China and nine in India, from 45 in 2014. On the Beach Group (OTB), down 4.92% to 290p, said it has performed well in the first four months of the financial year.

Pennant International (PEN), up 5.88% to 45p, subsidiary Pennant Training Systems Ltd has been awarded a new landmark contract with one of the world's leading aerospace and defence contractors.

Porta Communications (PTCM), down 5.08% to 7p, has issued the remaining 1.76m shares of deferred consideration for Readleaf Communications, in which a majority stake was acquired in April last year.

Faroe Petroleum (FPM), up 3.7% to 56p, said total average economic production for 2015 was at the upper end of guidance at about 10,530 boepd, of which about 58% was liquids and 42% gas.

Velocys (VLS), up 2.67% to 38.5p, said ENVIA Energy's EPC contractor has signed the final major contract for ENVIA's Oklahoma City GTL plant, which is to be located adjacent to Waste Management's East Oak landfill site.

OptiBiotix Health (OPTI), up 0.6% to 84p, has raised GBP1m gross via a placing of 1.28m new shares at a price of 78p each. Grainger (GRI), up 0.56% to 224.35p, has exchanged contracts to sell its equity interest in the FRM German residential rented portfolio and in its German business platform for 124m gross.

Other stocks in the news included Stride Gaming (STR), Teathers (TEA), Halma (HLMA), Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP), Shaftesbury (SHB), Genel Energy (GENL), Town Centre Securities (TCSC) and Commercial International Bank (Egypt) (CBKD).

Story provided by