UK shares get off to a strong start in early trade on Monday having settled down after early confusion over blue-chip miner Glencore (GLEN). The FTSE100 rallies 125 points, or about 2%, to 6,254, bettering gains on Wall Street at the end of last week and mirroring equally robust markets across Europe.
FTSE 100 commodities trader Glencore caused widespread confusion at the start of the new week as its shares jumped by more than 70% on the Hong Kong market. There have been media reports it could be taken private but Glencore said in a stock market statement that it didn't know why the shares spiked. After an initial burst at the London market open, they now trade 5.7% higher at 100.4p.
Plans to sell shares worth at least £2 billion in Lloyds (LLOY) to private investors have been announced by the government. The Treasury plans to sell its remaining 12% stake in the bank in the coming months and retail investors will get a crack at the stock issue in the spring. However, while offer will come with a 5% discount to Lloyds' market price, small investors will be restricted in the size of their claims, with priority going to individuals wanting less than £1,000 worth of stock. Keeping the new shares for a minimum of 12 months will also spark a bonus share offer, one for every 10 they owned. The bank's stock faisl to respond much early on on Monday, nudging just 1.2% higher to 77.46p.
Small cap Xchanging (XCH) gains 51% to 167p on takeover speculation. The insurance outsourcer revealed a number of suitors including Capital (CPI) and US private equity firm Apollo Global Management have been submitting bids in the last two months. The latest offers are 160p from Capita and 170p from Apollo.
Neil Woodford-backed Allied Minds (ALM) advances 7.7% to 391.2p after one of its portfolio companies, Precision Biopsy, raises $33.6 million to help speed up commercialisation of a biotech product. It comes in the wake of a bear raid on Allied Minds by a US hedge fund which claims the FTSE 250 business is grossly overvalued.
Mining-focused investor Blenheim Natural Resources (BNR:AIM) rises 36.4% to 75p despite raising fresh funding at a big discount, issuing new stock at 45p to raise £141,750 for working capital and new investments. Investors are perhaps excited by the news it has received 'several interesting propositions' would could result in a reverse takeover of a natural resources firm.
Pub group Fuller, Smith & Turner (FSTA) tumbles 4.4% to £11.00 as it suffers the effects of England's exit from the Rugby World Cup. Investors fear the £374 million cap won't get the hoped-for boost in sales from supporters coming in to its pubs to watch games.
A softer second half for advanced surface coating specialist Hardide (HDD:AIM) came courtesy of reduced global oil and gas exploration and drilling spending and shares in the £10 million cap are down 8.1% at 0.8p.