A measure of calm returned to markets on Thursday. Portuguese long-term bond yields eased slightly after yesterday's spike on political instability and Egypt saw a night without significant bloodshed following the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi. London's FTSE 100 added 69.5 points to 6,229.41.
The Egyptian situation was a particular boon to gold miner Centamin Egypt (CEY) which, as well as suffering from the slide in gold prices, has been hit hard by the country's political turmoil. It gained 16.5% to 36.3p, making it the top riser in the FTSE 350.
Elsewhere the UK construction industry was in focus as the market absorbed a number of buoyant updates from the sector. Housebuilder Redrow (RDW) jumped 5% to 233p after telling investors that profits would be above the top end of the range of analysts' estimates when it reports its preliminary results on 18 September.
The statement revealed a 26% hike in group revenues to £604.8 million. Homes completed in the year to the end of June increased 15% to 2,827 while the average selling price of a private home rose to £227,300 compared to £204,100 in the same period last year.
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) rose 4.3% to 101.1p after the group's trading update revealed the group expects to report a UK operating profit margin for the first half of 2013 of more than 13%. Chief executive Pete Redfern welcomed signs of confidence returning to the housing market which has been 'underpinned by both generally improved access to and affordability of mortgage finance and by the recent Government measures.'
Galliford Try (GFRD) rose 0.3% after the housebuilding and construction group said it was on schedule to deliver 'record full-year results, in line with the current market consensus'. Year-end sales at the group rose 15% to £313 million while average private sales prices climbed 5% to £262,000.
In contrast performance materials group Low & Bonar (LWB) was under some pressure, down 1.2% at 66.5p, after reporting a fall in interim pre-tax profits although there were some positive signs as we explore here.
Budget carrier Easyjet (EZJ) took flight, rising 2.8% to £13.57 after it revealed a pick up in passenger numbers in June. The airline said it carried 5.5 million passengers during the period; up 1.9% on the same month a year ago while load factor remained steady at 89.9%.
IT testing and security specialist NCC (NCC) rallied over 7% to 135.25p as full year results hinted that previous acquisition integration woes are merely a short-term blimp, as flagged by Shares in April (here). Underlying revenues rose 8%, and the company also revealed that it is down to the last two in its bid to win the .SECURE domain name battle.
A landmark drive by a retro-fit Volvo prototype failed to buoy Clean Air Power (CAP:AIM), off 3% to 8.12p. Investors are still to be convinced by the technology in spite a 1,000 mile California to Gulf of Mexico trip on a single tank of fuel that could begin to put an end to 'range anxiety' of truck fleet operators.
Cloud IT supplier Enables IT (EIT:AIM) jumped nearly 13% to 44.5p after winning a data centre design contract with a healthcare services supplier worth £750,000.
Medical technology play Deltex Medical (DEMG: AIM) was up 6.5% to 18.3p after its blood monitoring system received positive trial results from those under-going major surgery at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. The company’s CardioQ-ODM device was trialled in 84 patients at the teaching hospital, shaving two days of their recovery time.
The market gave a cautious response to Brazil-focused property company Itacare Capital’s (ITA: AIM) new investor. The company dived 6% to 0.39p after a pension fund invested $7 million cash into Itacare’s Trancoso project in the state of Bahia for a 10% stake in the asset. The funds will mainly be used to market the villas, as well as cover other pre-construction costs.