Date: Friday 21 Jan 2011
- Market Movers
- FTSE 100 5,912.11 +0.75%
- FTSE 250 11,534.45 +0.26%
- techMARK 1,865.67 +0.79%
LONDON (ShareCast) - After yesterday’s triple-digit fall the Footsie has clawed back around half of those losses, helped by a strong performance from miners.
Weather conditions in Australia have improved enough to allow Rio Tinto to end the force majeure event that’s disrupted supplies of aluminium from Boyne Smelters near Gladstone. The company’s aluminium arm, Rio Tinto Alcan, says transport operations have now returned to normal.
Other miners are going well as industrial metals prices tend firmer, while gold miner African Barrick is higher, even though the price of gold has taken a dip.
Royal Bank of Scotland is leading the top share index higher after the FT reported that bank executives and officials at the Treasury are talking about ways for the bank to exit the toxic asset scheme.
After a lull over the Christmas period Autonomy has started banging out the contract agreement announcements again, adding two more contract wins on Friday to the four announced earlier in the week. Verizon Communications and an unnamed US law firm have signed up to use the company’s Intelligent Data Operating Layer software.
Drugs giant AstraZeneca has defended the trial results of Brilinta, its potential blockbuster blood thinning drug, after enquiries about some of the data from the US Food and Drug Administration. The trial saw more negative responses in the US compared with elsewhere.
Staff at British Airways are expected to celebrate the airline’s last day of trading on the London Stock Exchange as BA by voting for further strike action. The carrier’s £5.7bn merger with Spain’s Iberia should complete today, almost 24 years after it was privatised by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government.
Merchant bank Close Brothers remains on course for a 'satisfactory' outcome this year despite a pick-up in bad debts, though it had flagged this previously.
Trophy handbag maker the Mulberry Group put in a strong trading performance over Christmas and now expects full year results to be ahead of expectations.
However, elsewhere in the world of luxury goods, soaring cotton prices mean that cashmere and home furnishing goods group Dawson International’s 2011 performance won’t meet expectations even though shoppers’ appetite for cashmere sweaters remains strong.
Snow and ice on Britain’s roads before Christmas has cost logistics group Stobart about £1.5m, although it’s still on track to meet reduced profit expectations for the year.
Shares in Mouchel have jumped after infrastructure group Costain raised its offer for the construction services group with a bid valuing the company at £172m. Mouchel responded by saying that it has received yet more approaches from companies interested in buying the group, in addition to those it mentioned back in December.
Elsewhere in the mergers and acquisitions arena Greencore Group, the Irish ready made meals supplier, is off the pace as it looks more likely that food magnate Ranjit Boparan will make a rival bid to Greencore’s offer for Northern Foods.
Boparan has reached agreement with trustees of Northern Foods’ pension scheme, reports say.
Diamond producer Petra Diamonds has raised £205m ($325m) from a placing at 150p a share to fund the $210m (£132m) purchase of the Finsch diamond mine in South Africa from De Beers.
Shares in Dori Media dived as the media company said profit before tax for 2010 is expected to be significantly below market expectations, as a result of a delay in receiving income from a major production.
Brazil-focused gold miner Serabi Mining made a loss before tax of $3.97m in the first nine months of 2010, versus a loss of $7.44m in the corresponding period of 2009, and warned that further fund raising share issues are likely down the road.
The market gave a thunderous reception to Thor Mining’s acquisition of an initial 25% stake in the 274,000 ounce Spring Hill gold project owned by Western Desert Resources, for which it has agreed to pay A$1.25m plus 10m of its shares.
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