London shares make stellar gains after a weak opening as oil stocks rally. The benchmark FTSE 100 index rises was rising by 45 points, or 0.7%, to 6,344, with Brent futures hitting $62.75 per barrel on the ICE market. This follows steep declines across he pond on Friday as the Dow Jones staged its biggest one-week slump in three years and West Texas crude futures slipped below $60 per barrel.
Bargain hunters are swooping for oil stocks as Brent crude rebounded from overnight five-year lows on Libyan port closures. Explorer Tullow Oil (TLW) heads the Footsie leader board, up 5.4% to 387.2p, while Petrofac (PFC), up 3% and BG (BG.), 2.7% ahead, also feature among blue-chip winners.
Carpets, beds and rugs retailer Carpetright (CPR) surges 11.4% ahead to 349p on better-than-expected interims, driven by like-for-like sales growth in the UK and a stronger than forecast result in Europe. Analysts nudge up full-year estimates as new CEO Wilf Walsh says profits will come in 'towards the upper end' of market expectations.
Bakery food-on-the-go retailer Greggs (GRG) rises 4.15% to 683.75p on news full year profits should beat analysts' expectations, triggering another round of upgrades. In a positive fourth quarter update, the running Shares Play of the Week flags 5.2% like-for-like sales growth, driven by self-help initiatives and helpful weather.
Going the other way is online retailer MySale (MYSL:AIM), which slumps 42.2% to 100.13p, AIM biggest faller, after warning that full-year profits will be 'materially below market expectations'. The flash sales site operator, whose backers include Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley, blames more challenging trading in Australia and New Zealand and the need for extra investment in existing markets to stimulate growth. Shares highlighted the risks facing the business in August.
Pallet maker RM2 International (RM2:AIM) rises 2.4% to 63.5p after winning contracts with seven customers to provide its BLOCKPal fibreglass and resin pallets. The company says capacity at its Canadian facility is developing, while an independent study concludes its pallet is significantly more environmentally friendly than standard wood pallets.
An expansion into social care fails to move shares in healthcare software supplier Servlec (SERV:AIM). Its £23.5 million acquisition of Corelogic takes the company into a complementary market beyond its core mental and community health areas, although investors may be concerned about a full-looking 13-times EBITDA price paid.
Industrial printing manufacturer Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) sheds 2.7% to 621.5p ahead of full year results due to be announced tomorrow. Analysts expect the Cambridge-headquartered outfit to post pre-tax profit of £56.9 million and earnings per share of 37.6p.
Pathfinder Minerals (PFP:AIM) jumps 62.2% to 0.3p after its subsidiary IMM was confirmed by the Maputo Courto as a shareholder in CMDN which holds the licences for a mineral sands project in Mozambique. The small cap miner has been fighting a legal battle for more than two years surrounding ownership of the asset.
Shares in cash-strapped behavioural healthcare technology minnow Ultrasis (ULT:AIM) double to 0.25p after agreeing a rescue refunding deal with major shareholder Paul Bell. The company also intends to tap other shareholders for further funding, representing a possible stay of execution for the business which continues to burn cash at an alarming rate.
Investors largely ignore the sale of 96,000 exercised options by Redcentric (RCN:AIM) chief operating officer Fraser Fisher. Stock in the running Shares Play of the Week at 112p nudge 0.5p lower to 145.5p.
Regenerative medicine specialist Collagen Solutions (COS:AIM) rises 2.7% to 9.3p as it signs a deal to develop a powder for a wound care product in development by Dutch outfit KYERON Medical Innovations.
Brickmaker Michelmersh Brick (MBH:AIM) adds 5% to 63p as the Haywards Heath-headquartered firm tells investors it will beat expectations. Strong volumes and better than hoped-for selling prices means the company should beat turnover and profit before tax forecasts.