A late rally for stocks saw the UK's major markets end the trading session higher on Monday despite evidence of economic recovery offset by concerns of a potential resurgence in Covid-19 cases. At the close, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was nearly 1.1% higher at 6,225.77 following frenzied late session buying as investors took their que from a firm opening on Wall Street. The more UK focused FTSE 250 also ended up, managing to reverse losses earlier in the day to record a 0.5% gain at the end, to 17,198.66. The pound endured a largely weak session, losing ground against both the dollar and the euro, although Sterling was flat versus Japan's yen. Brent crude rose modestly to $41.47 a barrel, while gold nudged 0.2% higher to 1,762.10 per ounce. CORPORTATE NEWS Mining company Rio Tinto stayed largely flat at £45.38, even as it reached an agreement with the government of Mongolia on a new source of domestic power for its Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine there. GlaxoSmithKline edged 0.8% higher to £16.644 after Japanese regulators approved its application for a treatment for patients with anaemia due to chronic kidney disease. Animal genetics company Genus fell 1.8% to £34.86 on announcing that Iain Ferguson would succeed Bob Lawson as its chairman in November. Ferguson, currently chairman of house builder Crest Nicholson, had held senior executive roles at Unilever and was once chief executive of Tate & Lyle. Energy infrastructure group Calisen advanced 0.2% to 182p, having announced that it expected to resume meter reading and other non-essential smart meter installations and field services in July. Respiratory protection equipment supplier Avon Rubber added more than 2% to £31.55 on confirming that it had received an order from the US Department of Defence worth $16.3 million. SMALLCAP WRAP Consumer finance group Morses Club dropped 4% to 47 as it revealed that some U Holdings customers have had their accounts temporarily frozen in the wake of the collapse of Wirecard. Subprime lender Non-Standard Finance reversed earlier gains to close down 3.3% at 7p on announcing that talks with large shareholders about a potential equity raising had been positive. Listed residential landlord Grainger rose 1.7% to 283p after it issued a £350 million secured bond to boost its finances and further its growth plans. Energy company Energean was the biggest FTSE All-Share winner, jumping more than 22% to 542p as it agreed to acquire Edison E&P at a revised price of $284 million, down from the original sum of $740 million, after the latter's Norwegian assets were excluded from the deal. Disease test kit supplier Omega Diagnostics lost earlier gains to plunge nearly 9% into the red despite announcing that the development of a Covid-19 rapid test had progressed further, now that consortium partner Abingdon Health had reached a design milestone. Omega shares closed at 44.9p. Recruitment and training group Staffline eased back from earlier 14% gains but still closed nearly 5% higher at 38p after it sewed up a refinancing of its debt facilities with new covenant arrangements. Staffline pledged not to pay any dividends until July 2022 as part of the refinancing arrangements. Industrial cleaning company React slumped in afternoon trading to end the day more than 6% down at 1.48p. That was the mixed response to its swing to a modest full year profit, as it benefited from higher demand for decontamination services thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Cell-based therapeutics developer ReNeuron bounced 5.5% higher to 144p on recording positive long-term data from an ongoing clinical trial of its hRPC stem cell therapy candidate for eye problem retinitis pigmentosa.
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