- The FTSE embarked on a positive note as did its European counterparts, despite sterling vaulting higher on the dollar in what is a generally quiet day on both the corporate and economic news fronts.

Not long after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 29.52 points, or 0.4%, to 7465.94, while the FTSE 250 was up 94.86, or 0.48%, to 19,786.5. This followed gains on Wall St and in Asia overnight, while in Europe the Dax and Cac 40 were both progressing.

The price of gold was a little lower, but those for silver and copper rose. Energy prices were ahead, while sterling, by 8.40am, was up 0.32% to $1.2980, but down a little on the euro.

Blue-chip stocks rising outnumbered fallers by about 80 to 20. They were piloted by Rolls-Royce (RR.), up 1.68% to 864.75p, and WPP (WPP), up 1.56% to 1724.5p. Ashtead (AHT) was up 1.52% to 1565.5p.

Several multi-commodity miners figured to the upside, with Rio Tinto (RIO) adding 0.98% to 3132p and Anglo American (AAL) firming 0.96% to 1077.25p, while among oilies BP (BP.) rose 0.55% to 471.58p and Shell (RDSA) improved 0.49% to 2118.75p.

A number of house builders gained after Barratt Developments (BDEV), up 1.02% to 618.25p, but overall this sector was off the pace. Commercial property was a notable faller, with Land Securities (LAND) easing 1.14% to 1079.5p and British Land (BLND) shedding 0.43% to 635.75p.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK), down 4.29% to 1627p and leading blue-chip fallers, lowered the revenue guidance for its generics business due to a revised launch of its version of Advair Diskus and increased price erosion. It saw FY group revenue "in the range of $2.0 to $2.1bn in constant currency in 2017."

Supermarkets Tesco (TSCO), Sainsbury (SBRY) and Morrison (MRW) were all down 0.23%-0.59%.


Revolution Bars (RBG) fell 28.86% to 145.13p as it warned that cost headwinds would be more tha anticipated in the current year, adding that it saw the adjusted EBITDA (pre-opening costs) out-turn for the year broadly at the same level as last year.

Future (FUTR), up 16.82% to 210.13p, said its H1 statutory pretax profit increased significantly to £0.9m, from a loss of £0.3m. Revenue rose 35% to £40.9m. LightwaveRF (LWRF) rose 15.22% to 26.5p after reducing its H1 pretax loss of £333,000, from a loss of £384,000. Revenue was up at £1.17m, from £804,000.


Solo Oil (SOLO) fell 10.53% to 0.34p as it said its original Tanzanian gas portfolio was maturing and it was reviewing various options with regards to monetising a portion of the Ruvuma PSC during the development of the Ntorya gas condensate discovery in order to fund future participation in the licence.

Pipehawk (PIP) fell 9.52% to 4.75p after receiving a further rejection of its resubmitted application for the Phase 2 H2020 funding to assist with marketing and distribution of its eSafe product. Its score was marginally below the required level, and Pipehawk said it intended to keep re-submitting applications for future rounds of funding until it becomes apparent that the Company has little chance of obtaining a grant.

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG), down 5.41% to 0.88p, has raised gross proceeds of £6.5m via the placing of 812.5m new shares in the company at 0.8p each, largely with institutional funds. Net proceeds would go to cash balances and funding UKOG's near-term growth strategy.

Union Jack Oil (UJO), up 3.85% to 0.14p, noted today's update by Egdon Resources regarding the issue by the UK Environment Agency (EA) of the variation to the Mining Waste Permit in respect of the proposed Wressle conventional development and its associated operations.

Quadrise Fuels (QFI), up 3.83% to 4.75p, has been advised by Maersk that Wartsila was expecting to deliver the interim letter of no objection (LONO) this month in relation to the previously reported successful but suspended testing of its MSAR emulsion bunker fuel.

FairFX (FFX), up 2.88% to 53.5p, has signed a partnership agreement with easyCurrency, the online zero fees/commission forex boutique, which is part of the easyGroup family of brands owned by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Plexus Holdings (POS), up 2.86% to 67.63p, has received an initial purchase order (PO) from Aker BP. The initial value of of the contract was estimated at about £0.7m with revenues expected to commence in the next financial year in July 2017.

Other stocks in the news included Stratex International (STI), Safestore Holdings (SAFE), Volga Gas (VGAS), Grainger (GRI), CEPS (CEPS), SDX Energy (SDX), Gresham House (GHE), Hunters Property (HUNT), Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP), Iofina (IOF), Entertainment One (ETO) and Glanbia Co-operative Society (GLB).

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