London’s FTSE 100 finished Monday’s session 0.56% higher at 7,068.43 points as a risk appetite rebound took oil prices higher and drove demand for index heavyweights Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and BP (BP.), shares in both improving by more than 2% to £14.57 and 302.3p respectively.

Amid the FTSE 250 ranks, low-cost airline EasyJet (EZJ) fell 14% to 586.4p on a UBS downgrade, having announced a £1.2 billion rights issue last week.


Shares in specialist science and technology recruitment firm SThree (STEM) rose 3.6% to 569p after the group increased its annual profit guidance in a trading update for the quarter ended in August.

Group net fees for the period increased 29% to £91 million driven by robust growth in its three largest geographies of Germany (up 35%), USA (up 31%), and Netherlands (up 24%).

Bus and rail group FirstGroup (FGP) firmed 3.3% to 89.4p after it announced it would return £500 million to shareholders via a share buyback.

Food and clothing conglomerate Associated British Foods (ABF) upgraded its fourth quarter earnings guidance for both its food business and the Primark retail division in a pre-close trading update.

However, shares were 2.4% lower at £19.23 after Primark’s fourth quarter sales missed analysts’ estimates due to fewer shoppers venturing out onto the high street.

Digitally-focused advertising agency S4 Capital (SFOR) increased its earnings guidance for the third time this year to 40% like-for-like gross profit growth.

In its first half results announcement, the company also provided an upbeat outlook, saying prospects for 2022 ‘also look stronger’, although the shares fell 3.8% to 791p on profit-taking after an extremely strong recent performance.

Specialist information and analytics company Ascential (ASCL) edged 0.8% higher to 417.2p after announcing the acquisition of OneSpace, a content optimization business.

UK aerospace engineer Rolls Royce (RR) and defence contractor Babcock (BAB) revealed the sale of their joint stakes in AirTanker Holdings Limited to Equitix Investment Management.

Shares in Rolls Royce were 2.3% higher at 112p while Babcock International was bid up 4.2% to 354.3p.


Elsewhere, energy storage and clean fuel group ITM Power (ITM:AIM) plunged 11.6% to 414p as the company posted a full year loss after rising revenue was more than offset by expenses including R&D, production and marketing costs.

Indonesian palm oil producer M.P. Evans (MPE:AIM) cultivated a 5.1% gain to 782p as excellent first half results, driven by robust growth in crops, a strong crude palm oil price and more milling capacity coming on stream, triggered another round of earnings upgrades.

Ultra-premium mixers play East Imperial (EISB) bubbled up 4.1% to 19.25p as the posh tonic water, ginger beer and grapefruit soda company reported 60% first half sales growth and said positive momentum has continued into the second half, ‘where there has been a strong return to demand in some key markets, namely New Zealand, Europe and the US’.

Mobile payments firm Bango (BGO:AIM) was bid up 5.5% to 229p after announcing a platform agreement with Verizon to power the US telecommunications giant’s third-party services.


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Issue Date: 13 Sep 2021