- London stocks were firmer in early deals, busting forecasts for a lower start, as mining, property and financial stocks sortied higher ahead of this afternoon's closely scrutinised US non-farm payrolls data.

House builder Taylor Wimpey (TW.) rose 3.48% to 126.35p, while Barratt Developments (BDEV) firmed 2.16% to 356.65p. More followed in a sector that until yesterday has been under the cosh thanks to negative Brexit sentiment.

Miners remained ahead, too. Rio Tinto (RIO) added 2.46% to 2397.5p, while Anglo American (AAL) gained 2.11% to 762.25p. Meantime, commercial property traced British Land (BLND), ahead 1.47% to 571.25p and supermarkets followed Tesco (TSCO), rising 1.7% to 162.93p.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 14.38 points, or 0.22%, to 6548.17. FTSE 250 rose 15.04, or 0.09%, to 15,913.8. At 8.33am, WTI crude was at $45.58/bbl and Brent was at $46.94/bbl, both up about 1%. Gold was down at $1356/oz.

Wall St was mixed overnight, while Asia was lower this morning. Back in UK, overall more than 70 blue chips were on the front foot. Among them were multiple financials and banks, utilities and pharmas, along with a string of high-street retailers. Some in these sectors ebbed.

Hammerson (HMSO) and joint-venture partner Allianz Real Estate have secured the ownership of Dundrum Town Centre, Ireland's pre-eminent shopping and leisure destination as part of a portfolio of market-leading retail assets in Dublin, Ireland. HMSO rose 0.7% to 495.9p.

To the downside, there were no clear theme other than softer oil majors as crude prices hovered below $50/bbl. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) fell 0.76% to 2081p, while BP (BP.) faded 0.59% to 450.63p.


Savannah Petroleum (SAVP) was up 37.57% to 32.5p after it published a video interview with its chief executive, Andrew Knott, on its website. This comes a day after the company successfully raised $40m at 38p a share.

Kibo Mining (KIBO), up 13.64% to 6.25p, is delighted with the results of the completed mining definitive feasibility study of the Mbeya coal to power project.

TomCo Energy (TOM), up 13.04% to 0.13p, said that Utah's Division of Water Quality (DWQ) has approved the company's extension request to its Construction Permit.

1pm Plc (OPM), up 10.53% to 63p, said its FY trading results will show strong growth in revenue and profits compared with the prior year.


Johnston Press (JPR), up 8.07% to 15.13p, has continued to increase readers of the i newspaper since it was bought in April, at a rate which is ahead of management's expectations.

Pantheon Resources (PANR), down 5.77% to 126.5p, has been granted the permit to perform the fracture stimulation test on the VOS#1 well.

Rare Earth Minerals (REM), up 5.81% to 0.46p, said Macarthur Minerals Ltd has agreed to expand its MoU with Venturex Resources to include the lithium rights on the Whim Creek Project in Western Australia.

IndigoVision (IND), up 2.67% to 127.5p, said sales in the six months to 30 June totalled about $21.8m, 3% below the corresponding period last year. Ilika (IKA), down 4.76% to 50p, said its FY revenues fell to £0.6m, down from £1.1m in 2015. Loss on continuing activities before tax increased to £3.9m in 2016 from £3.0m in 2015.

Vernalis (VER), up 2.33% to 38.63p, has announced the successful completion of the CCP-08 pivotal multiple-dose comparative bioavailability study. NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF), down 0.5% to 100p, has confirmed the closing of a debt facility of £21.7m with NIBC Bank NV.

Churchill China (CHH), up 1.76% to 722.5p, reports strong growth across the business as a whole, since it annual general meeting update in May with particularly good progress in its target Hospitality export markets.

AVEVA Group (AVV), up 0.4% to 1711p, reports satisfactory financial and operational progress since its full-year results on 24 May in line with expectations.

Other stocks in the news included Petra Diamonds (PDL), Deltex Medical (DEMG) and Revolymer (REVO).

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