Shares in London open higher in early trade on Friday following strong gains last night in the US and earlier today in Asia, and supporting by a modest rally in several construction-based firms. The benchmark FTSE 100 index is up around 40 points, or 0.6%, at 6,415, with gains being made right across the midcap, small cap and AIM markets.
In corporate news, another headline-grabbing cyber security attack causes a storm as broadband and calls supplier TalkTalk (TALK) comes under attack. Shares in the company slump nearly 9.5% to 243.15p after it announced that a criminal investigation had been launched by the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit following a significant and sustained cyber attack on the company's website. TalkTalk's CEO Dido Harding admits that customer data is likely to have been breached and is fighting a desperate rearguard action to limited the damage. The company's website remains down while the police and company complete a fuli investigation.
Bookmaker William Hill (WMH) tumbles 6.7% to 322.3p after warning full year profits will be at the bottom end of analysts' expectations of £290.9 million to £312.1 million. It blames tough comparisons from last year's football World Cup, additional gambling taxes and weak sporting results. Operating profit in the third quarter is down 39% while revenue is 9% lower.
Mobile enterprise platform supplier Globo (GBO:AIM) has had its shares suspended on AIM at the company's request as the company comes under another shorting attack from the US. An extensive report was published across the pond by a by firm calling itself Quintessential Capital Management. Details remain thin on the ground but Globo says it completely refutes all allegations. The shares were suspended at 28.25p.
Among the bigger movers, drug developer Hutchison China MediTech (HCM:AIM) climbs 12.6% to £17.45 on receiving a £10 million milestone payment from Eli Lily (LLY:NYSE), trigged by the positive results of phase II trials of the lung cancer treatment it has licenced to the US company. The payment is expected by the end of the year.
Life sciences services provider Cyprotex (CRX:AIM) advances 9.1% to 71.5p on revenues and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) beating expectations in the nine months to 30 September.
US focused oil company Nighthawk (HAWK:AIM) slumps 12.1% to 2.9p on mixed results from drilling in Colorado. The company has uncovered minimal oil shows in the targeted reservoir but unexpected finds in others.
Tech minnow Holders Technology (HDT:AIM) crashes 20% to 30p after a profit warning thanks to struggles at its printed circuit board buiness, and ongoing forex headwinds. That means a likely £0.2 million operating loss wil be reported for the year to the end of November. Analysts had been hoping for a £0.1 million profit.
Sports nutrition products company Science in Sport (SIS:AIM), a running Shares Play of the Week, gains 3.4% at 61p on news of an £8.9 million funding, the bulk coming from a significantly oversubscribed placing priced at 59p, to accelerate sales growth.
Animal drug-maker Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) improves 2.8% to 977.2p on sales 21% higher in the three months to 30 September than at the same period a year earlier thanks to a strong performance across all its divisions.