A rising gold price has helped put the shine on gold miners with African Barrick Gold (ABG) leading the pack with a 7.9% rise to 241.35p. Mexican producer Fresnillo (FRES) advances 3.7% to 821.75p and Petropavlovsk (POG) jumps 3.3% to 74.63p. Robust Asian demand has lifted the gold price to $1,277 per ounce. That means the metal is up more than 2% in value in the past 30 days.
There's a double dose of profit warnings in the support services industry. Infrastructure consultant Hyder Consulting (HYC) slumps 25.8% to 474.25p after project delays. Safety equipment specialist Latchways (LTC) reports its second profit warning in four months as earnings disappoint, falling 11.6% to £11.27. We look at the problems in more detail in this news analysis.
Oil services firm Petrofac (PFC) ticks up 3.3% to £12.34 as HSBC lifts its recommendation on the stock to 'overweight' from 'neutral'. The shares still remain below the level they were at before last November’s shock profit warning.
Fashion retailer SuperGroup (SGP) sprints another 65p higher to £16.45 as Thursday's positive third quarter trading update continues to foster positive sentiment towards the stock. Ahead of that event, Shares flagged the likelihood of a robust trading statement and potential upgrades and the running Play of the Week didn't disappoint, delivering retail sales up 18.2% to £113.8 million in the 13 weeks to 26 January.
Upbeat media coverage sends utilities broker Inspired Energy (INSE:AIM) up 21.5% to 12p. We featured the small cap as a Shares Play of the Week last March and the share price has subsequently risen by 160%.
An acquisition and £8 million cash call announced late on Friday sees cloud calls supplier Coms (COMS:AIM) come under pressure, the shares falling 5% to 8.75p despite unveiling more than £700,000 worth of new contracts today.
Drug delivery specialist SkyePharma (SKP) rises 10.2% to 178.6p as it launches its flutiform inhaler in France to treat asthma. The company will receive a £2.5 million milestone payment and royalties on net sales from marketing partner Mundipharma.
Recycling products specialist Straight (STT:AIM) gains 4.4% to 44.4p as it says 2013 results will meet expectations and signals a strong start to 2014 with two new contracts worth more than £2 million combined. The larger of the two – a £1.4 million award from Birmingham City Council – will see it supply more than 300,000 of the its ‘Straight Wheeled Bin Inner Caddy’.
Logistics specialist China Chaintek (CTEK:AIM) jumps 5.2% to 151.5p after saying that 2013 results would be marginally ahead of management's expectations.
Goldenport (GPRT) rises 3.1% to 46.5p after the shipping company promotes chief investment officer Alexis Stephanou to chief financial officer.