London stocks strike a sturdy recovery in early trade on Wednesday after a steep decline in the previous session, as investors geared up for the Bank of England's Quarterly Inflation Report. In early deals the benchmark FTSE 100 index is trading 52 points, or about 0.74%, higher at 6,985, nudging the 7,000 mark once more.
On the corporate news front, a string of blue chips provide a mixed bag of announcements, although packaging group Mondi (MNDI) steals the limelight. The shares head the Footsie leaderboard with a more than 9% jump to £14.16 as it posts an impressive 29% hike in underlying first quarter operating profit and flags optimism for the rest of the year.
Housebuilder Barratt Developments (BDEV) is also in demand as it raises expectations for housing completions and profits for the full year. The company said the improved outlook was thanks to strong consumer demand for new build houses and expectations of a supportive government policy post-election.
Running Shares Play of the Week SABMiller (SAB) adds 64p (1.8%) to £35.67 on well-received finals showing strong underlying topline growth. The Grolsch-to-Peroni Nastro Azzurro brewer's taxable profits were slightly lower year-on-year due to the stronger dollar, though investors like strong growth generated in Africa and Latin America and a standout soft drinks performance.
Among the bigger movers, positive exploration results from a copper project in Indoneisa sends Kalimantan Gold (KLG:AIM) soaring by 25% to 2p. It has find decent grades of copper fairly close to surface.
Synectics (SNX:AIM) rallies 11% to 161p after being awarded a multi-million dollar contract to significantly expand its fully integrated surveillance, recording and control room solution for an existing client.
Going the other way, Constellation Healthcare (CHT:AIM) hits the skids, down 11.5% to 166p, as it looks to raise £12.9 million of gross new funding via a placing of up to 7.8 million new shares. Priced at 140p, the cash call implies a whopping 25% discount to last night's 187.5p close.
Science and research kit manufacturer Renishaw (RSW) continues its strong 2015 as the shares nudge 1.9% higher to £25.57. The precision engineering and metrology specialist tells investors that profit before tax for the nine months to March has come in at £109.8 million, a 174% jump on 2014, maintaining its string of upbeat trading announcements this year.
Premier Oil (PMO) adds 3% to 186.7p as it reveals January to April output averaging 60.2 kboepd. The oil driller also maintains full year guidance at 55 kboepd, excluding new production from its Solan project.
Acquisitive car dealer Vertu Motors (VTU:AIM) accelerates 5.2% higher to 60.5p on record final results. Sales speed pass £2 billion for the first time, profits are better-than-expected and there's a 30% plus dividend hike to cheer shareholders. You can read our recent Griller interview with CEO Robert Forrester here.
Cash-strapped snack vending operator SnackTime (SNAK:AIM) rebounds 6.7% to 8p on a positive financing update, which includes plans to raise money at a premium to its bombed-out share price.