StockMarketWire.com - Reports that the Post Office has inked a deal to deliver for Amazon helped push Royal Mail to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard on Monday. By midday the wider index was up 0.8% at 7,086.07.

Airline EasyJet fell 14% on a UBS downgrade after announcing a £1.2 billion rights issue last week.

Food and clothing conglomerate Associated British Foods upgraded its annual earnings guidance, thanks to a better-than-expected performance from its sugar and Primark businesses.

Adjusted earnings per share for the 53 weeks to 18 September was now expected to be ahead of previous guidance and marginally ahead of last year, the company said. However, amid some fretting about supply chain issues the shares fell 3.8% to £18.96.

Bus and train company First Group said it would return £500 million raised from recent asset sales to shareholders via a tender offer.

First Group also said that its overall trading performance in the year to date had been in line with expectations. Its shares were up 2.5% to 88.7p.

Specialty recruitment firm SThree upgraded its annual profit forecast as its third-quarter net fee revenue rose 29%, underpinned by strong growth in Germany, the US and the Netherlands.

Pre-tax profit for the year through November was now expected to be 'significantly above' market consensus of £51.4 million. Its shares were up 6.9% to 587p.

Marketing analytics group Ascential said it had acquired US content optimisation business OneSpace, for an undisclosed sum. It ticked up 0.4% to 415.8p.

Advertising firm S4 Capital posted a deeper first-half loss, largely owing to acquisition costs, though its gross profit improved and it again upgraded its annual guidance. The shares fell 6.8% to 765.9p.

Leak detection group Water Intelligence posted a 92% jump in first-half profit that it was was at the top end of market expectations, even after recent upgrades. It dipped 0.4% to £12.50.

Energy storage and clean fuel group ITM Power posted a full-year loss after rising revenue was more than offset by expenses including R&D, production and marketing costs.

Pre-tax losses for the year through June amounted to £27.6 million, compared to year-on-year losses of £29.5 million. Revenue rose to £4.3 million, up from £3.3 million. ITM shares fell 6.2% to 439p.

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