With Wall Street markets having hit fresh highs overnight amid hopes low fuel prices will stoke a consumer spending boom, London's FTSE 100 edges 7.99 points higher to 6737.8 early on Tuesday, although falling oil and mining stocks limit gains.
Among the biggest risers is defence specialist Chemring (CHG), which flashes 5% higher to 238p as its latest trading statement flags a pick-up in orders from US and Middle East customers since the end of July and assures investors trading for the year to October 2014 remains in line with guidance given in September.
IG Group’s (IGG) second quarter revenue was its best quarterly performance in its forty year year operating history, driven by increased market volatility and higher client trading activity. In a pre-close trading statement, IG says it is in a ‘robust position' entering the second half of the year, sending the shares 3.8% higher at 672p.
Weak consumer spending sees Mitchells & Butlers' (MAB) profit before tax fall 13.4% to £123 million for the year ended 27 September. Yet shares in the pubs and restaurants group behind the All Bar One and Harvester brands rise 3p to 352p on news of a 2.4% like-for-like sales increase in the opening eight weeks of the new financial year.
Shares in Eclectic Bar (BAR:AIM), which operates premium bars such as the French-Moroccan themed Po Na Na, tumble 22% to 147p as it posts a profits warning and scales back its expansion plans. Read our in-depth analysis here.
Home improvement giant Kingfisher (KGF) gives up 3.3% at 293.8p as a worse-than-expected third quarter trading update triggers downgrades. The B&Q-to-Screwfix chain owner reports a 6.9% drop in retail profits to £225 million, hit by adverse currency movements and weak trading in markets including France, Poland and Russia.
Web-based domestic appliances retailer AO World (AO.) cheapens 2.6% to 211.4p. Despite delivering strong growth for the six months to September, trading losses are higher-than-expected, reflecting the start-up costs of the retailer's German website launch.
Tile specialist Topps Tiles (TPT) ticks 3p or 2.9% higher to 108p as strong full-year results and a positive start to the new financial year stoke upgrades. The retailer reports robust annual increases in pre-tax profits and like-for-like sales and hikes the dividend 50% to 2.25p.
Testing kit-maker Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDH:AIM) falls 6.6% to 320p as chairman Anthony Martin follows CEO Patrik Dahlen out the door and the testing kit-maker reports a 34% interim pre-tax profits slump to £2.7 million.
Marine seismic play Thalassa (THAL:AIM) slumps 22.3% to 57.5p as it warns on full year profits. The company has been hit by a combination of lower oil prices and the sanctions imposed on Russia where it does a significant chunk of its business.