The market ends the week on a sour note with a 1.4% drop in the FTSE 100 to 6,373.49, with a further fall in the oil price depressing investor sentiment. Power station giant Drax (DRX) slumps 10.4% to 506p after the Department for Energy & Climate proposes changes to biomass subsidies which could be negative for the utilities group.
Large cap water utilities Severn Trent (SVT) and United Utilities (UU.) are among the few specks of green on the FTSE leaderboard, rising 1.3% to £19.39 and 3% to 898p respectively. The gains look like a positive reaction to regulator Ofwat’s announcement of its ‘final determination’ on pricing, though media reports indicate prices will fall for customers.
Bucking this trend is minnow exploration play Tower Resources (TRP:AIM), up 13.9% to 0.62p as it reveals the Badada well offshore Kenya will commence operations in January. Tower, which saw its share price collapse on unsuccessful drilling in Namibia earlier this year, has a 15% stake in the well and is partnered by Premier Oil (PMO) (55%) and Taipan Resources (TPN:TSX).
African Consolidated Resources (AFCR:AIM) jumps 13.3% to 0.64p as investors continue to digest news (10 Dec) of a potential change in strategy. After scaling back plans to develop a gold project in Zimbabwe due to financial difficulties, the small cap now wants to change its name to Vast Resources and pursue metal opportunities in Romania.
Unloved carpet and floor coverings purveyor Carpetright (CPR) perks up 3.83% to 325p ahead of Monday's interims (15 Dec), where new CEO Wilf Walsh is likely to set out his new strategy for the business.
Bombed-out Chinese sportswear manufacturer Naibu Global (NBU:AIM), which last month flagged slowing sales and the need for discounts, rebounds 44.4% to 13p off a low base. The micro cap's appointment of ZAI Corporate Finance as nominated adviser, with embattled Daniel Stewart (DAN:AIM) relinquishing its nomad (nominated adviser) licence at close of play today, stirs interest in the stock, particularly as there's been concern in the market that the business would have to delist if it didn't find a new nomad as Daniel Stewart lost its licence in November.
Alternative energy play Mytrah Energy (MYT:AIM) tumbles 6.8% to 75p despite the group's trading update confirming the terms of a recent financing deal, as broker Investec Securities lowers forecasts to reflect a slower pace of capacity additions.