- The FTSE enjoyed a strong start to the week thanks to advances by oil and bank stocks.

Among the high street banks, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) ticked 1.8% higher to 249.9p and HSBC (HSBA) was 1.6% up at 691.6p.

Brent crude oil rose by 0.1% to $45.61 per barrel, supporting gains of 0.8% to 459.9p for BP (BP.) and a 0.5% increase to £21.08 for Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB).

Gold cheapened 1.1% to $1,242 per ounce.


In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Japan closed 0.1% up at 20,153 today despite a bankruptcy filing by Takata, although this was expected by investors.

Stock markets in Hong Kong and China both closed approximately 0.8% higher.


In corporate news, shopping centre investor Hammerson (HMSO) nudged 0.6% higher to 592.2p on news that the developer of Manchester's Trafford Centre, John Whittaker, gained a 4.6% stake in the firm. He built his stake through his private vehicle Peel Holdings. Whittaker owns 27% of Hammerson's rival Intu Properties (INYU).


Among the mid-caps, Ultra Electronics (ULE) confirmed 'advanced discussions' to acquire Sparton in response to intense media speculation. Shares in the defence firm advanced 4.2% higher to £21.17.

Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW), which recently dominated headlines concerning its potential takeover from peer Wood Group (WG.) agreed to sell its circulating fluidised bed boiler unit for $170m. The oil services firm sold the unit to Sumitomo Heavy Industries to reduce net debt.


It was good news for Minoan Group (MIN) after it said appeals against the Presidential Decree granting land use approval for its Itanos Gaia project in Crete were dismissed. In response to the news, the stock rallied 19% to 10.1p.

Management Resource Solutions (MRS) saw over a third of its value wiped off to 2.6p. The consultancy services provided revealed details of a claim from the Joint Voluntary Liquidators of MRS Guernsey - a subsidiary of the company that is in voluntary liquidation.

On AIM, oil and gas firm Empyrean Energy (EME) announced it made a gas discovery offshore Indonesia with its Mako South-1 well, sparking a 14% jump in the stock to 7.1.

Remaining in the oil sector EnQuest (ENQ) confirmed that first oil from the Kraken development was delivered on Friday.

Flat sales in Europe so far in 2017 for lipstick seller Warpaint (W7L) resulted in an 11.3% slump in the shares to 215p. Elsewhere in the US and other sales territories, sales were more encouraging, but this was overlooked by the market.

Story provided by