UK stocks make modest gains in early trade on Monday with investors agreeing with Bank of England policymakers' view that interest rates must rise 'relatively soon.' China is also again in focus after reports on industrial production and retail sales.
The FTSE 100 index rises around 35 points, or 0.6%, to 6,152, matching similar gains across Europe's major markets. Midcaps and Small Cap indexes are also both in positive territory.
Chip designs champion ARM (ARM) heads the blue-chips leader board on Monday the shares, up close to 3% at 960p, benefiting from renewed optimism among investors, although supermarkets group Morrisons (MRW) remains under the cosh, down 1.6% at 162.5p, topping the Footsie loser board.
On the company news front, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBC) advances following reports the lender hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to prepare a spin-off of its Williams & Glyn-branded retail branches in the second half of 2016.
Newspapers group Trinity Mirror (TNI) shoots-up 7% to 148.75p as it confirms talks to buy out the shares it does not already own in rival Local World Holdings, while defence contractor Chemring (CHG) also rallies as it reports a sharp rise in revenue. The shares jump 5.5% to 227.5p.
Pharma group Shire (SHP) nudges a fraction higher to £48.51 as it is reportedly mulling options to sweeten its multi-billion dollar, all-stock offer for US biotechnology group Baxalta (BXLT:NYSE) by putting cash into shareholders’ hands sooner. - See more at:
Among the bigger movers, DekelOil (DKL:AIM), operator and 51%-owner of the Ivory Coast-based Ayenouan palm oil project, gathers up 12.5% to 1.12p on positive interims and an upbeat outlook. Record half-yearly crude palm oil (CPO) production drives a 187% sales surge to more than €12.9 million and an eight-fold EBITDA increase to €2.3 million.
Media minnow Motive Television (MTV:AIM) soars 31% to 0.27p as it says it plans to make TabletTV available on the new Apple TV platform in the US, UK and worldwide.
In the energy and resources space, Noricum Gold (NMG:AIM) jumps 14% to 0.16p as it narrows its first half pre-tax loss to £0.27 million despite no revenues, while biomass firm Active Energy (AEG) rallies 9.5% to 6.02p as it signs a Biomass for Energy joint venture deal with Biomass Energy Enhancements of Utah to exclusively commercialise a revolutionary new clean energy Biomass fuel manufacturing process.
Elsewhere, Irish petrol forecourt retailer Applegreen (APGN:AIM) cheapens 2.3% to 353.5p despite pumping out strong maiden interims following its June IPO. Trading since the end of June has been positive, though CEO Bob Etchingham guides towards a slower second half growth rate. Click here for more on Applegreen's structural growth and income potential.
Skin cancer drug company Biofrontera (B8F:AIM) trades 5.1% higher to 185p on US regulator the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) accepting the filling of its Ameluz treatment, the first stage in the approval process. The regulator will publish a review of the research within six months ahead of a decision on whether the drug can be sold in the country.