- London shares are bounding higher as traders come to terms with European Central Bank's jawboning and shock monetary policy decisions yesterday, which sparked a sell-off. Wall St and in Asia firmed overnight. Crude and gold prices remained buoyant.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 92.5 points, or 1.53%, to 6129.2. FTSE 250 was up 150.66, or 0.92%, to 16,535.8. At 8.32am, WTI crude was at USD38.687/bbl. Brent was at USD40.73/bbl. Gold was at USD1272/oz, while UK 10-year gilt yields were at 1.53%. Europe was strongly ahead.

In a session with about 97 blue-chip stocks progressing, about 80 by 1% or more, it was financial stocks providing cue. Insurer Aviva (AV.) added 4.22% to 485.45p, while bank Barclays (BARC) firmed 2.93% to 165.3p. More in these sectors followed. However, Old Mutual (OML) fell 0.62% to 184.15p as its new strategy and lower FY pretax profit disappointed.

Commercial property zipped north in the wake of Land Securities (LAND), up 2.49% to 1049.5p, while leisure was led by Merlin (MERL), up 2.25% to 448.45p. Oil majors progressed behind Shell (RDSA), up 1.74% to 1667p, with miners guided by Rio Tinto (RIO), up 1.83% to 1992.75p.

Pharmas, high-street retail, supermarkets consumer goods, telcos and, further back, utilities were on the front foot, too. All of this against trader jitters about growth prospects for the global economy, China's macro outlook, Middle East tensions and a crude glut. Yesterday's session was also hurt by a good number of ex-dividend stocks.


Alpha Pyrenees Trust (ALPH), down 45% to 0.06p, has disposed of the majority of its portfolio, which has resulted in a loss of GBP41.3m, or 35.1p a share, for the year to Dec. 31, 2015.

Scancell (SCLP), up 9.22% to 19.25p, has begun a strategic research collaboration with the Rheumatology Unit at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The collaboration will further explore the scientific and clinical role of citrullinated proteins in the treatment of cancer.

LightwaveRF (LWRF), down 12.66% to 17.25p, said its FY pre-tax loss rose to GBP0.42m, up from GBP0.30m in 2014. Revenues were lower. Starcom (STAR), down 7.69% to 1.5p, has booked a FY pretax loss of USD1.76m, from a loss of USD2.82m. Revenue was USD5.2m, from USD5.0m.


Marshalls (MSLH), up 3.93% to 313.35p, has upped its FY pretax profit by 57% to GBP35.3m, from GBP22.4m. This as revenue rose 8% to GBP386.2m, from GBP358.5m. Total dividend was 9p a share, up from 6p. Avanti Communications (AVN), up 3.58% to 105.13p, has announced its first pre-launch contract for capacity on the HYLAS 4 satellite.

Computacenter (CCC), down 3.54% to 796.75p, has booked a FY adjusted pretax profit of GBP86.9m, up 7.2% on the year. Just Retirement (JRG), up 3.4% to 138.55p, has booked an H1 paretax profit of GBP26.1m, from a year-earlier loss of GBP9.2m. Revenue was significantly ahead at GBP989.0m, from GBP625.9m. Total new business was up 50%.

W Resources (WRES), up 3.19% to 0.49p, has completed a placement of 166.67m shares at 0.45p each to raise about GBP0.75m gross. Funds raised would be used for the mine and plant engineering at La Parrilla and Regua, resource estimation at Sao Martinho and general working capital.

Tlou Energy (TLOU), flat at 3.63p, has widened its H1 pretax loss to USD1.99m, from a year-ago loss of USD1.14m. Revenue was just USD19,849, from USD78,955. The latest loss was larger primarily because of USD0.78m of share-issue costs.

Petrofac (PFC), down 3.21% to 913.25p, has been appointed as Duty Holder to support Anasuria Operating Company Ltd (AOC), a UK JV between Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus) and Ping Petroleum Ltd (Ping). The initial five-year extendable contract is worth about USD250m.

Other stocks in the news included Wey Education (WEY), JD Wetherspoon (JDW), FairFX (FFX), Rex Bionics (RXB), SThree (STHR), Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR), Safestore (SAFE), Global Petroleum (GBP), Next Fifteen Communications (NFC), Global Ports Investments (GLPR), Forbidden Technologies (FBT) and Origo Partners (OPP).

Story provided by