London's FTSE 100 firms 20.97 points to 6,858.58 early on Wednesday, rising for a third day on the spin with investors bullish ahead of George Osborne's keenly-awaited final budget statement before May's general election, due at 12.30.
One of the session's main fallers is Synety (SNTY:AIM), which collapses 27% to 100p after revealing a 34.5% discounted placing and open offer at 90p. Broker N+1 Singer doesn't believe the technology minnow will hit breakeven until the fourth quarter of 2016. The shares were trading above 300p less than a year ago, so today's news will not go down well with investors.
Industrial services provider Cape (CIU) leaps 8.2% to 245p as it announces better-than-expected 2014 results and signals it expects 2015 numbers to be flat. The dividend is maintained at 14p – we have more on the story here.
Bigger-than-expected losses from its UTV Ireland venture upsets investors in broadcast group UTV Media (UTV), the shares down 7.1% to 166.25p. The firm announces alongside prelims that its new channel in the Republic of Ireland will be £6 million in the red in 2015.
Charles Taylor (CTR) falls 4.7% to 268p as it outlines plans to raise £30.6 million in a three-for-seven rights issue. The insurance outsourcer says it is in discussions with a number of businesses regarding a potential acquisition.
Specialist retailer Pets At Home (PETS) perks up 0.3p to 237.9p following a 'buy' initiation note from Liberum with a 275p price target. The broker highlights scope for increasing cash returns from the pet foods-to-accessories seller, whose investment attractions we highlighted here in December.
Industrial seals and security detectors manufacturer Smiths (SMIN) cheapens 0.9% to £11.67 on a 3% drop in first half pre-tax profit to £208 million, caused by adverse foreign exchange moves and tough trading conditions for its Detection and Interconnect divisions. The group names Rob White as its interim chief financial officer, replacing Peter Turner who steps down as finance director in April.
Blood gas analyser-maker Sphere Medical (SPHR:AIM) gains 8.1% to 20p after launching its Proxima device in Europe. The company will initially focus on driving sales in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.