London shares took a sortie north in early deals with leisure-sector outfit TUI AG (TUI) leading the blue-chip on an upbeat earnings statement. Wall St was higher, but Asia ebbed. Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 52.09 points, or 0.77%, to 6859.76, while FTSE 250 was up 100.29, or 0.57%, to 17,729.0. TUI AG (TUI), up 2.85% to 1117p, said, as it approaches its 2015/16 year-end, it is confident of delivering 12%-13% growth in underlying EBITA. Other leisure stocks followed further back. It was traced by a string of miners led by Anglo American (AAL), up 2.15% to 936.5p, and a posse of house builders guided by Taylor Wimpey (TW.), up 1.66% to 153p. Financials were led by insurer Old Mutual (OML), up 1.63% to 199.5p, while several banks followed Standard Chartered (STAN), ahead 1.11% to 616.9p. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), up 1.09% to 176.5p, has reached a final settlement with the National Credit Union Administration board to end two outstanding civil lawsuits for $1.1bn. Overall, about 88 blue-chip stocks rose, roughly 34 by 1% or more. Utilities tended lower in the wake of Centrica (CNA), off 0.25% to 223.05p. Sainsbury (SBRY), down 0.72% to 249p, said its like-for-like (LFL) retail sales fell 1.1%, excluding fuel, in the 16 weeks to Sept. 24, and, including fuel, were down 0.5%. At 8.41am, WTI crude was up 0.09% to $44.71/bbl and Brent was up 0.17% to $46.05/bbl. Gold was down 0.32% to fetch $1326.2/oz. BIGGER MOVERS Armadale Capital (ACP), up 60% to 3p, has entered into a binding Heads of Agreement with African Mining Services Pty Ltd to form a JV to develop and operate the Mpokoto gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. UK Mail Group (UKM), up 42.97% to 439.63p, has recommended Deutsche Post AG's 440p-a-share cash offer. The offer assumed UK Mail shareholders would be entitled to receive a 5.5p a share dividend. It valued UK Mail's share capital at about £242.7m. ZincOx Resources (ZOX), down 30% to 0.35p, has posted a wider H1 pretax loss of $5.2m, from a loss of $2.2m. Revenue was $604,000, from $292,000. It remained hopeful of securing a suitable flagship project before the year-end. Nostra Terra (NTOG), up 16.82% to 1.29p, said Independent Resources (Egypt) Ltd -- its JV with Independent Resources (IRG), up 39.29% to 0.1p -- has reached an agreement with TransGlobe Petroleum International Inc concerning the early repayment of the $2.5m loan note. LONDON HIGHLIGHTS easyHotel (EZH), up 15.98% to 98p, has announced a conditional placing of up to 38m new shares at 100p each to raise £38.0m gross. Proceeds would primarily go to funding its owned-hotel roll-out strategy. Coral Products (CRU), up 11.11% to 22.5p, said trading after the first four months of the current year is in line with management's expectations. Venn Life Sciences (VENN), down 10.53% to 25.5p, has posted a wider H1 loss for the year of €0.7m, from a loss of €0.3m. Revenue was €9.1m, from €4.3m. BMR Group (BMR), down 10.87% to 5.13p, has been in ongoing talks with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency over the environmental project brief (EPB) application in respect of selling Waelz Kiln Slag. ZEMA has requested that the EPB be upgraded to an environmental impact assessment, which would delay the start of WKS sales. BMR has submitted a letter of appeal. Zoo Digital (ZOO), down 6.98% to 10p, said following the addition of a number of major clients over the summer, there is now greater diversity in its revenue sources, and growth in the number of video minutes processed each month. Clinigen (CLIN), up 5.24% to 713p, said its adjusted gross profit rose by 90% to £102.1n in the year tot he end of June driven by acquisitions and organic growth. FY dividend rose 18% to 4.0p a share. PZ Cussons (PZC), up 3.34% to 369.55p, said its overall performance in the period June 1 to Sept. 27 has been in line with expectations. Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD), up 3.03% to 187p, said subsidiary Haydale Composite Solutions has been awarded a £310,000 contract extension by National Grid. Other stocks in the news included Smiths Group (SMIN), Frenkel Topping (FEN), Gresham House (GHE), Landore (LND), FairFX (FFX), Stagecoach (SGC), C4X Discovery (C4XD), Snoozebox (ZZZ), 21st Century Technology (C21), RM2 Int'l (RM2), Bond International Software (BDI), Plastics Capital (PLA), Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP), Servoca (SVCA) and Harvest Minerals (HMI).
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