The FTSE 100 ended the week on a surprising rally as oil price moved ahead, the pound reached a one-month high and the UK construction sector began to stabilise. The blue chip index jumped 2.6% to 6,922. Oil companies and defensive stocks topped the leaderboard including notable gains from Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and BP (BP). West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil both rallied over 3% to $44.51 and $46.87 per barrel, respectively. Gold glittered at $1,317 per ounce and copper advanced 0.2% to $4,563 per tonne. The UK construction sector remained contracted at 49.2 in August, although this was up from July's 85-month low of 45.9 as the industry moved closer to stabilisation. The US trade deficit was $39.5 billion in July, which was $5.2 billion lower than June, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Retirement property expert McCarthy & Stone (MCS) left investors cold after noting fewer reservations since the end of June and higher cancellation levels, the post-Brexit vote trading slowdown pushing its shares 11.7% lower to 185p. Ibstock's (IBST) former private equity owner Bain Capital sold a 10% stake in the brick maker at 175p. Transport operator Go-Ahead Group (GOG) accelerated 10.7% to £22.12 following bus passenger growth in the second half of the year and a record number of passengers for its rail division. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS A profit warning from payment group Eckoh (ECK) caused its share price to crash 28.6% to 35p. It was linked to pricing structure changes and cost over-runs on a large professional services project. Online fashion retailer ASOS (ASC) said it would pay £20.2 million to settle trademark disputes with Swiss cycle wear maker Assos and German menswear retailer Anson's. Digital radio technology provider Toumaz (TMZ) was chosen by Harman International to power its new Google Cast-enabled wireless home speaker, triggering a share price rise of 33.3% to 3p. Clean energy specialist Trading Emissions (TRE) soared 16.3% after announcing the proposed sale of a portion of its Italian solar portfolio for approximately €8.5 million. Investors jumped ship following Lifeline Scientific's (LSIC) plans to merge with Shanghai Genext Medical Technology as the offer represented only a 0.7% premium to last night's closing price. The company traded 7.9% lower. Mobile marketing group Proxama (PROX) shot up 19% to 0.63p after being certified by Google as an approved service provider. Business software experts ESW Capital made a takeover approach for Bond International (BDI) although there were no details provided. The recruitment software provider rose 4.1%. Oil services group Thalassa (THAL) said it would invest £400,000 on tiny gold and copper explorer Papua Mining (PML), which perplexed investors and sent its share price down 6.4%.
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