London’s FTSE 100 finished Monday’s session 0.9% to the good at 6,466.42 points, rebounding after its worst week since October on positive Chinese manufacturing data and a boost from a strong Wall Street open.
Silver prices rose to an eight-year high before dropping back amid suggestions the precious metal is being targeted by day traders associated with the Wallstreetbets group on community platform Reddit.
Shares in silver miners finished significantly higher, with FTSE 100 constituents Fresnillo (FRES) up 9.7% at £10.83 and Polymetal International (POLY) gaining 5% to £16.61. In the FTSE 250, Hochschild Mining (HOC) jumped 10.2% to 253.4p.
In company news, JD Sports Fashion (JD.) gained 7% to 799.6p after it agreed a deal to acquire American sportswear brand DTLR Villa for $495 million.
‘The acquisition of DTLR will enhance our presence in the north and east of the United States and will be another important step in the group’s evolution,’ JD Sports Fashion said.
Based in Baltimore, Maryland, and currently majority owned by BRS & Co. and Goode Capital, DTLR, established in 1982, is a hyperlocal athletic footwear and apparel streetwear retailer. The deal for DTLR is expected to be completed during the first quarter of the year.
Online fashion retailer ASOS (ASC:AIM) increased 6.9% to £47.84 as it acquired the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from failed retail group Arcadia for £265 million.
The acquisition of the brands will help ‘accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy ... [and] under our ownership, we will develop them further,’ Asos said.
This year it expects any incremental earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to be offset by initial investment and ramp up costs as it focuses on integration, engaging with retail partners and rebuilding stock to support its trading plans.
The company also expects to incur one-off restructuring and transaction costs of £20 million.
It said, ‘We anticipate incremental sales in FY22 to be broadly flat to FY20 acquired brand sales’ and added that it expects the transaction to deliver a ‘double-digit return on capital (post tax) in the first full year’.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) softened 1.4% to £73.88 despite receiving approval from EU regulators for its Covid-19 vaccine.
It comes as the company agreed to supply the EU with an extra nine million doses of the vaccine by March, though the 40 million doses now expected is still half of what had been expected by the EU as tensions between the bloc and AstraZeneca continue.
Commercial real estate company Land Securities (LAND) rose 1% to 621p, even as it corrected its December-quarter office rent collection rate for the rest of Central London to 70%, from the previously stated 82%.
Networking solution company BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) gained 7.4% to 109p after it upgraded its outlook on revenue and earnings as stronger-than-expected demand for Covid-19 test kits toward the end of the year boosted performance.
For the full year 2020, revenue is expected to be at least $180 million, ‘significantly ahead’ of upgraded market expectations and representing annual growth of over 45% and, consequently, EBITDA is also set to be ‘substantially’ ahead of market expectations.
B2B information services provider Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) added 2.7% to 980p on news that it has acquired The Jacobsen, a price reporting agency, for $12.3 million.
The Jacobsen provides price assessments primarily in North American markets, including coverage of animal fats, feeds and vegetable oils.
SMALL CAP WRAP
Recruitment and training company Staffline (STAF:AIM) fell 1.75% to 55.6p after initially climbing 4% as it forecast an underlying operating profit ‘marginally ahead’ of market expectations.
Video game developer Sumo (SUMO:AIM) firmed 1.4% to 357p following news that it had acquired Poland’s PixelAnt Games for an initial £0.25 million, plus potential performance payments.
Out-of-hospital care group Totally (TLY:AIM) added 4.7% to trade at 33.5p after its Vocare unit won two 12-month contract extensions worth about £16.8 million combined.