London's FTSE 100 is lifted 21.4 points higher to 6,968 in early deals on Monday, boosted by China's decision to cut interest rates over the weekend as well as stronger-than-forecast manufacturing data for February from the world's second biggest economy.
Among the main risers is troubled African oil explorer Afren (AFR), which leaps 17.4% to 10.1p as it secures breathing space on debt repayments. The company secures another deferral of the $50 million amortisation payment on its $300 million Ebok debt facility until 31 March. The payment was initially due on 31 January, and the previous extension expired on 27 February. It will continue using a 30-day grace period under its 2016 bonds with respect to $15 million of interest which was due on 1 February.
Quality and safety services group Intertek (ITRK) sparks up 4.4% to £26.41, despite reporting a 12% earnings per share decline for 2014. Chief executive officer Wolfhart Hauser pleases with his outlook statement, saying near-term headwinds facing the company's oil and gas-facing operations are expected to ease and organic sales growth should improve gradually during the current year.
Non-life insurer Amlin (AML) drops 3.4% to 511.5p as it announces a 20.5% annual pre-tax profit slump to £258.7 million due to on higher claims and lower investment returns.
Profit-taking after a good run sees aircraft and vehicle parts manufacturer Senior (SNR) marked down 1.7% to 334.8p. Full-year results reveal a 5% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit, boosted by robust growth in its commercial aerospace division as well as a strong performance from the company's North American heavy trucks business.
Also on the back foot is defence electronics specialist Ultra Electronics (ULE), which falls 2.1% to £17.62 after blaming a 56.4% drop in pre-tax profit to £21.5 million on the early termination of a contract in Oman.
Vaccine-maker Allergy Therapeutics (AGY:AIM) advances 6.1% to 26p on news of a 13.8% pre-tax profit improvement to £7.4 million for the half to December, as more people in Europe bought its products. However the seasonal nature of the company means it will be loss-making in the second half.
Chocolatier Thorntons (THT) sours another 8.2% to 67p on disappointing interim results and a cautious second half outlook statement ahead of the key Easter selling season. Further downgrades follow news that recent weak sales to supermarkets have persisted into the second half.
Micro cap recruiter RTC (RTC:AIM) sinks 7% to 71.5p as enthusiasm for the stock wanes following its £80-100 million Network Rail contract win last week. Full-year results reported today show earnings per share of 5.9p, up 56%.