Both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 continued to trade in positive territory by midday during a relatively quiet day, with the US markets are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) monthly retail sales balance increased to a three month high of +39 from +30 and is anticipated to rise again in December. This has in part been due to consumers starting their Christmas shopping earlier due to fears over a potential shortage of products linked to supply chain issues.

At lunchtime the FTSE 100 was trading 0.14% firmer at 7296.60 and the FTSE 250 nudged 0.18% higher to 23,209.13.

Engineering company Renishaw (RSW) fell 4.1% to £47.90 on the back of a downgrade from Morgan Stanley.

Outsourcing group Capita (CPI) surged 9% to 48.65p in response to an RBC note upgrading the stock to outperform.

STOCKS MOVING ON THE MARKET

Bars and restaurants group Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) lost much of its opening momentum as investors digested like-for-like sales in recent months that exceeded pre-pandemic levels but warned that rising costs, supply chain issues and labour shortages since Brexit will ‘inevitably’ have an impact on its performance in the current year.

Shares in the company, which had rallied more than 5% early on, were trading around 4.6% higher at 246p at midday.

The big movers among the mid-caps were Hochschild Mining (HOC), which topped the FTSE 250 leaderboard, and Vivo Energy (VVO).

Hochschild rallied 18.7% to 144.9p after more dovish comments from Peruvian authorities. The company’s flagship Inmaculada mine and another one in the Ayacucho region of Peru will continue to operate under current frameworks, the company confirmed a day after the South American country allowed miners to seek extensions.

Last week, Peru planned to rule out timeline extensions for mines in Ayacucho on environmental concerns and said they would instead close down in the near future.

Vivo Energy surged 19% to 133p after news that commodities trader Vitol will buy the company in a deal valued at roughly $2.3 billion.

Vitol, already the owner of a 36% stake in Vivo, has offered shareholders of Vivo $1.79 in cash for each share they hold, and $0.06 as an interim plus special dividend.

Global drinks seller Diageo (DGE) rose nearly 1% to £38.97 after peer Remy Cointreau raised its full-year profit outlook after reporting a stronger-than-expected 104.5% organic jump in first-half operating profit. This was driven by strong demand for its premium cognac in China, the US and Europe.

Pubs group Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) gained 3.2% to 243.6p as it confirmed it had returned to profitability and cash generation following the lifting of lockdown restrictions

OTHER MOVERS

Logistics group DX (DX.:AIM) plunged 37.5% to 18.75p after saying it would delay the release of its annual report that could result in its shares suspended after discovering a corporate governance inquiry relating to an internal investigation commenced during the financial year ended 3 July 2021.

‘The inquiry has yet to be concluded, and the process will delay the completion of the audit, but will be expedited as quickly as possible,’ the company said.

Infrastructure group Hill & Smith (HILS) reported a rise in revenue in the four month period to 31 October 2021 as price increases helped offset rising costs amid supply chain headwinds.

Trading during the period has been robust, with revenue of £237.1 million, 4% ahead of last year on an organic constant currency basis, but investors took fright, sending the stock down 8.25% to £17.12

The company said its operating companies implemented price increases to help ‘offset input cost inflation, with steel being the most impacted category for the group’.

Energy services provider Good Energy (GOOD:AIM) is to sell its 47.5MW renewable asset portfolio as part of an ongoing strategic shift. Proceeds from the transaction would be used to accelerate and support ‘previously identified strategic growth opportunities,’ the company said.

The is sale is expected to be completed during Q1 2022. The share price fell 2.5% to 278p.

Software and services company Gresham Technologies (GHT) upgraded its outlook on profitability following ‘strong’ performance and said it had won a contract extension from an unnamed bank.

The shares rose 4% to 177.5p after the company said it now expects full-year group revenues to exceed current market expectations, with both earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, or EBITDA, and cash EBITDA also expected to be ahead of current market expectations.

Find out how to deal online from £1.50 in a SIPP, ISA or Dealing account.

Issue Date: 25 Nov 2021