London markets experienced a late surge to end today's session firmly higher, continuing the recent post-Brexit advance, despite political uncertainty as the Conservative leadership runners and riders surfaced. Former London mayor Boris Johnson withdrew from the race after an unexpected attack from Michael Grove, a former Brexit ally, who is now pitching himself against current Home Secretary Theresa May. The FTSE 100 closed 144.27 points higher at 6,504.33 and the FTSE 250 advanced 1.68% to 16,271.1. Mining stocks continued to rally with Antofagasta (ANTO) and Randgold (RRS) up by over 4%. Financial firms and insurers were also northbound, as were utilities and drinks companies. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell to $48.7 per barrel and Brent crude oil retreated to $49.62 per barrel. Gold recovered towards the end of the day but closed down at $1,321.8 per ounce. UK GDP was estimated to have increased by 0.4% between January and March 2016, which marks a slowdown from 0.6% during the previous quarter. The index of services increased 3% in April 2016 when compared with April 2015. Stateside, initial unemployment claims rose to 268k in the week ending 25 June, the US Department of Labor said today. The Chicago Institute for Supply Management's Pruchasing Managers' Index rose 7.5 points to 56.8 in June. MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Serco (SRP) confirmed its financial performance in the first few months of 2016 was stronger than anticipated, nudging higher to 114.4p. Esure (ESUR) shares rose 9.8% to 286.1p after confirming that no approach has been received by the company concerning a potential offer. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS News Corp announced it has agreed a £220.3 million cash deal for Wireless (WLG) at 315 pence a share. Wireless shares shot up 68% to 310.25p. ECR Minerals (ECR) shares fell by almost 6% after posting an operating loss of £297,161 for the six months to the end of March - down from £610,641 a year ago. Insurance provider Redde (REDD) advanced to 157p after it said operating results before exceptional costs for the financial year ending 30 June were likely to slightly exceed market expectations. Security firm Westminster (WSG) experienced an encouraging start to 2016 with the end of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, ongoing recovery in revenues and increasing interest in its long-term airport security operations, triggering a rise of 17.25% to 14.95p. Support services company Stobart (STOB) announced plans to considerably increase its dividend, sending the shares 16.8% higher to 160p. The market was confident in graphite producer StratMin (STGR) after it was able to achieve operational breakeven by the year end through a partnership with Tirupati Carbons and Chemicals, advancing 20.7% to 1.66p. Industrial equipment supplier HC Slingsby (SLNG) announced sales were 3.3% down in the four months to 30 April 2016, but that there were signs that the rate of decline was slowing. Investors were worried and sold stock, causing shares to drop 47% to 100p. Smoke alarm maker Sprue (SPRP) said it hoped to commence shipment of two European products, ST622 and ST630, into Germany in the second half of 2016 as planned. Shares climbed 3.1% to 165p. The market reacted positively to Vitesse Media's (VIS) reduction in full-year revenue during the transition from low margin event management contracts to hosting its own events. Shares rose 9% to 3p. Tullow Oil (TLW) said 2016 capital expenditure guidance remained at $1 billion with further savings being offset by additional capex and the start of a new drilling campaign in Kenya. The shares rose 2.9%. Reabold Resources (RBD) fell to 0.7p after saying it might be subject to significant volatility in financial markets and commodity prices, as well as other potential risk areas, including operational, geological, environmental, sovereign issues and access to capital. Engineer Costain (COST) rose 7.45% to 317.5p after trading strongly in the first half of the year as result of increased repeat orders. Powerhouse Energy (PHE) swung from a loss into profit and said it was stable for the foreseeable future with a cash balance of approximately £320,000, representing approximately 17 months of company operations. Investors were happy with the turnaround and shares shot up 28% to 0.67p. Oil production company Nighthawk (HAWK) entered an amendment to an existing bank agreement with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, gaining 29% to 1p. Jiasen International's (JSI) pre-tax profit more than halved in 2015 as a result of less revenue emerging from a slowdown in China, causing it to plummet 22.6% to 3p. China New Energy (CNEL) dropped 38% to 1.38p after its loss widened in 2015 after costs increased.
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