Housebuilders kept the FTSE in positive territory with Travis Perkins (TPK), Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and Barratt Development (BDEV) climbing up to 4.2%. The blue chip index closed 0.6% higher at 6,849. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil were stable at $44.73 and $46.12 per barrel, respectively. Gold was flat at 1,325 per ounce and copper rose 0.7% to $4,806 per tonne. MAIN NEWS OF THE DAY Investors are relieved that Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) agreed a settlement over claims it mis-sold toxic mortgage-backed securities in 2008. It will pay $1.1 billion which it said is 'substantially covered by existing provisions', nudging shares higher to 176.4p. BLUE CHIP RISERS AND FALLERS Engineering business Smiths (SMIN) sparked 4% to £14.43 after boosting its revenue by 2% and hiking its dividend to 42p. Sainsbury's (SBRY) slumped 3.9% to 241p after reporting a 1.1% like-for-like sales fall for the second quarter. Food deflation continued to decline, but the newly acquired Argos business enjoyed a more positive quarter. TUI (TUI) flew 1.3% higher to £11 on a confident outlook of delivering 12%-13% growth in underlying earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation. MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Large warehouse investor Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX) slid 2.6% to 138.9p after announcing a discounted fundraising for acquisitions. The company said it wants to raise £150 million via a share placing and open offer at a discount of 132p. Investors were pleased with life fund specialist Phoenix Group's (PHNX) plan to buy Abbey Life for £935 million in cash. The deal will be funded through a £735 million rights issue and a £250 million bank loan. Imperial Leather brand owner PZ Cussons (PZC) bubbled 2.6% to 372.6p on a strong update, which included news that Asian results are benefiting from the weaker pound. Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate (KWE) firmed 3.8% to 280p after announcing a share buyback programme of up to £100 million SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS MobilityOne (MBO) declined 28% after announcing its subsidiary entered a sale and purchase agreement to acquire 50% of the issued and paid-up share capital of Unique Change for a consideration of RM10 payable in cash. Petropavlovsk (POG) returned to profit, but said it was focusing on the lower end of its original full-year fold production guidance. Shares slid 3.5% lower. Parcel delivery group UK Mail (UKM) received a 440p takeover bid from Deutshe Post. The suitor said UK Mail will help it win additional business from existing customers and benefit from greater volumes flowing through Deutsche's global operations. Armadale (ACP) soared 49.3% higher to 2.8p after entering a heads of agreement with African Mining Services to form a joint venture to develop and operate the Mpokoto gold project in Katanga province, Democratic Republic of Congo. The market responded warmly to Independent Resources' (IRG) announcement that its joint venture with Nostra Terra (NTOG) reached an agreement with TransGlobe Petroleum International concerning the early repayment of a $2.5 million loan note issued to TransGlobe last year. The firm traded 28.6% higher. Mobile data computing solutions provider Touchstar (TST) swung from a £5,000 loss to £296,000 profit after tax in the year to 30 June, triggering a share price rise of 13.9% to 78p. Investors jumped ship as ZincOx (ZOX) is running out of time to avoid its shares being suspended from the AIM market, in the absence of a reverse takeover. Shares in the firm plummeted 39.6% to 0.3p. Chinese seafood processor Aquatic Foods (AFG) crashed 34.3% to 11.5p as pre-tax profit more than halved from RMB101 million to RMB49 million as challenging market conditions and softer pricing hit the firm's profitability. Low cost operator EasyHotel (EZH) proposed to raise £38 million to accelerate its expansion strategy by placing new shares at 100p, which is an 18.3% premium to Tuesday's price. Several existing shareholders in Capital Drilling (CAPD) said they plan to sell an aggregate 18.5% stake in the business via a placing at 48p per share. The stock was in demand from institutional investors in light of recent financial improvements and contract wins.
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