Source - SMW
London shares are tiptoeing higher in a cautious start to election-day trade, with many investors taking pause to assess news relating to voting and in due course the result, whatever it might be.

A short while after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 8 points, or 0.11%, to 7486.62, while the FTSE 250 was up 14.95, or 0.08%, to 19,710.9. Europe was off to a positive start, too.

Blue chip risers and falls were roughly evenly split. Convatec (CTEC) led higher with a 0.91% rise to 328.25p, and was followed by Lloyds (LLOY), up 0.81% to 70.65p. Other banks chased.

Miners were figuring north behind Glencore (GLEN), up 0.69% to 284.95p, and Rio Tinto (RIO), ahead 0.64% to 3186.75p. Several utilities advanced after Centrica (CNA), up 0.74% to 197.45p.

House builders, insurers, consumer goods and oil majors were all tending higher. Crude-oil prices were up almost 1%, but still depressed. That for gold was lower, but silver and copper rose. Sterling was up on both the dollar and euro.

The market would also be looking to the European Central Bank's policy decision later today.

To the downside, Vodafone (VOD) fell 4.32% to 219.1p, with Johnson Matthey (JMAT) following and off 2.03% to 2918.5p. Commercial property was easing after Intu (INTU), down 0.88% to 263.35p.

BIGGER MOVERS

Bellzone Mining (BZM), up 109.38% to 0.67p, has reached a provisional agreement with Guinean ministers over the Kalia mine. The company announced on 29 March that it was holding talks to  update and amend the 2010 mining convention for the Kalia mine.

Molins (MLIN), up 23.42% to 97.5p, has entered into a conditional agreement with G.D S.p.A., a subsidiary of Coesia S.p.A., to sell its Instrumentation & Tobacco Machinery division (I&TM) for a gross cash consideration of £30m on a cash free debt free basis.

Mountfield Group (MOGP), down 21.69% to 1.63p, has improved its FY pretax profit to £442,544, up from £177,117, citing higher-quality turnover and restructured, lower-cost operation.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Clontarf Energy (CLON), up 12.31% to 0.73p, and Petrel Resources (PET), up 3.23% to 4p, have separately described recent discussions relating to the Tano 2A block in Ghana as positive and constructive.

Porta Communications (PTCM), up 6.45% to 4.13p, has agreed terms with Clydesdale Bank for a new five-year, £3.3m revolving credit facility (RCF), subject to the execution of a formal RCF agreement.

Flybe (FLYB), up 6.06% to 35p, had warned in March that it expected a small underlying loss before tax for the year, before IT write-downs of around £5-10m. It today posted an adjusted loss before tax of £6.7m, after IT write-downs of £4.8m. 

Nektan (NKTN), down 5.56% to 34p, said CEO Leigh Nissim has resigned to take up a new role, starting in September 2017. The board had started the search for a successor and, in the interim, founder and former CEO Gary Shaw would assume the role again.

BMR Group (BMR), down 5.41% to 4.38p, said it was disappointed to have not yet received the first drawdown of $900,000, under its project construction and trade finance facility with African Compass International Ltd.

CMC Markets (CMCX), up 5.97% to 135.38p, said its FY pretax profits fell 9% to £48.5m. Net operating income was 5% lower at £160.8m and earnings per share fell to 13.7p from 15.1p. The company has maintained the divided at 8.9p per share.

boohoo.com (BOO), up 5.49% to 232.88p, said that, due to very strong Q1 vtrading momentum, it now expected FY revenue growth to be about 60%, ahead of previous guidance of revenue growth approaching 50%, and EBITDA margins to be in line with previous guidance at about 10%.

Other stocks in the news included First Property (FPO), Coral Products (CRU), Hardy Oil & Gas (HDY), Ultra Electronics (ULE), Workspace (WKP), Petrofac (PFC), Auto Trader (AUTO), Tribal (TRB), Rockhopper Exploration (RKH), Northern Petroleum (NOP), Best of the Best (BOTB), Global Petroleum (GBP), Quadrise Fuels (QFI) and Scisys (SSY).