Source - SMW
Shares in London opened mildly positive as investors prepared for a string of UK inflation-related data out mid-morning, with sterling advancing on both the dollar and euro as prices for gold, silver and copper slipped. 

A short time after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 15.02 points, or 0.2%, to 7526.89, while the FTSE 250 was up 94.48, or 0.48%, to 19,777.2. This was as key stocks indices in Europe advanced, in the wake of Wall St softness.

Investors are looking to UK inflation data out mid-morning, namely the consumer-, house- and retail-price indices. Producer-price indices for input and output were also due. This was ahead of interest rate decisions in the US and UK on, respectively, Wednesday and Thursday.

So far in London, blue-chip risers outnumbered falls by a good margin. London Stock Exchange (LSE) rose 3.28% to 3510.5p, and was followed by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), up 2.42% to 256.15p, and WPP (WPP), up 1.47% to 1693.5p.

Property and financials were making gains. Taylor Wimpey (TW.) added 1.04% to 179.85p, while British Land (BLND) firmed 0.91% to 638.25p. Legal & General (LGEN) added 0.95% to 259.85p, while Standard Life (SL.) firmed 0.91% to 390.1p.

Ashtead (AHT), up 0.55% to 1650p, said its FY underlying pretax profits rose 7% to £793.4m. On a statutory basis, revenues rose 10% at £3,186.8m and pre-tax profits rose 8% to  £765.1m. Total dividend for the year was 27.5p, up 22%.

To the downside, Merlin Entertainments (MERL), off 2.9% to 488.4p, said group trading in the year to date had been broadly in line with expectations, but also noted the impact of the three terror attacks in the UK this year.

Also notably lower were a string of US rates-sensitive utilities. Centrica (CNA) fell 1.02% to 198.55p, while SSE (SSE) faded 0.27% to 1491p. Miners were mostly rising, as were oil majors.


Halosource (HAL) dived 53.33% to 3.5p on stating it now understood that a cornerstone investor would no longer make an application to the Chinese government seeking to participate in a conditional £1.9m company fundraise because there was no guarantee of a positive outcome.

Kalibrate Technologies (KLBT) rose 45.61% to 83p after and Hanover Bidco agreed a recommended offer by the latter. Kalibrate shareholders would get 85.5p cash per share, with the offer valuing Kalibrate at about £29m.

Monitise (MONI) added 24.35% to 2.86p as it and Fiserv UK Ltd agreed a recommended offer by the latter. Monitise shareholders would recieve a premium 2.9p cash for each share. The offer value Monitise at about £70m.


Byotrol (BYOT) rose 20% to 5.25p on receiving formal approval for its proprietary 24-hour germ-kill surface sanitiser from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

North Midland Construction (NMD) firmed 14.96% to 365p on winning a new JV infrastructure contract for Severn Trent Water on the Birmingham Resilience Project worth in excess of £100m. The scheme would begin on site in Q3 2017 and would be delivered over the next three years.

Capita (CPI), up 11.58% to 614.25p, said it was making good progress on executing the strategic initiatives laid out at the end of 2016 to reposition the group and create a simpler business better placed to return to profitable, sustainable growth.

Telecom Plus (TEP), down 8.56% to 1190.5p, boosted its FY statutory pretax profit by 16.5% to £40.9m, with dividend up 4.3% to 48p a share. It said the results were in line with expectations. Revenue fell 0.6% to £740.3m due to lower energy prices.

Pressure Technologies (PRES), up 6.25% to 144.5p, has swung to an H1 reported pretax loss of £2.6m, from a year-earlier profit of £0.9m. Its revenue for the period was £17.7m, from £16.2m.

Petrofac (PFC), up 3.06% to 393.5p, has agreed a five-year relationship with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) for the provision of specialist technical training and competency development services. The contract was valued at more than $35m.

Watkin Jones (WJG), up 2.05% to 181.13p, has completed the forward sale of a portfolio of six developments to an institutional investor, Europa Generation, for a gross development value of £165m. Ted Baker (TED), up 1.9% to 2471p, said it was positioned for further progress and to meet its FY expectations, despite the current uncertain macro environment.

Other stocks in the news included Wentworth (WRL), Hummingbird (HUM), Crest Nicholson (CRST), Halma (HLMA), Iomart (IOM), Ceres Power (CWR), Shanta Gold (SHG), Park (PKG) and FIH (FIH).

At 8:41am:

(LON:AHT) Ashtead Group PLC share price was +14p at 1655p

(LON:HAL) HaloSource share price was -2p at 5.5p

(LON:KLBT) Kalibrate Technologies PLC  share price was +26p at 83p

(LON:MERL) Merlin Entertainments PLC share price was -15.15p at 487.85p

(LON:UKX)  share price was +20.4p at 7532.27p