London equities continue to lever themselves off recent lows as traders eye value buys, also liking a small overnight rise in the price of crude and responding to positive US and Asia sessions. The FTSE 100 index rally strongly in early trade on Friday, leaping 115 points to 5,888, a near-2% gain.

The oil and gas sector is in demand as oil rallies to go back above $30 per barrel with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) in particular attracting the bargain hunters after a big sell off in response to its downbeat guidance on fourth quarter numbers (20 Jan). Shares in the Anglo-Dutch oil major are up 4.7% to £13.81.

Asthma and cystic fibrosis-focused drug developer Verona Pharma (VRP:AIM) makes further gains following Thursday’s show of confidence in the business by chairman David Ebsworth when he bought 400,000 shares for £10,000. Shares shot up 10.1% to 2.8p in early trading.

Premium drinks brands minnow Distil (DIS:AIM) fizzes 13.5% higher to 1.05p, albeit off a low base, on news of strong Christmas trading in the UK and in key international markets.

Science kit maker Oxford Instruments (OXIG) rallies 6% to 616.5pas it spells out that orders in the quarter to 31 December were ahead of the same period in the prior year, on both a reported and organic, constant currency basis.

DekelOil (DKL:AIM), the operator and 51%-owner of a palm oil project in Cote d'Ivoire, clips ahead 6.8% to 1.18p after inking an innovative agreement for the supply of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) with a local smallholder. Tellingly, the smallholder wants partial payment in new DekelOil shares priced at 1.52p, a premium to the market price and therefore a strong endorsement of the micro cap's valuation potential. For more on DekelOil's earnings growth scope, read our recent story here.

Shares in marketing firm The Mission Marketing Group (TMMG:AIM) are up 6.3% to 42p as it says prelims will hit expectations. The company, a running Shares Play of the Week, will report its 2015 numbers on 22 March.

Business accommodation landlord Workspace (WKP) rises 3% to 843.5p on a 2.3% rise in rents during the three months to 31 December 2015. Demand for space and bringing new properties to the market are behind the rise.

Commercial property investor Circle Property is planning a move to AIM. The company has a portfolio of 16 properties worth £74 million. No word yet on how much it intends to raise or when it will list.

Issue Date: 22 Jan 2016