London’s FTSE 100 firmed 0.15% to 7,120.45 early on Friday, with energy stocks leading the way, following the announcement of US President Joe Biden’s $952 billion bipartisan infrastructure agreement.

Large government spending plans once again came to the rescue of the markets, with US stocks racing ahead last night, which drove gains across Asia on Friday.

US banks also passed their stress tests, adding another catalyst for markets.

Trainers-to-tracksuits retailer JD Sports Fashion (JD.) sprinted 4.3% higher to 951.6p on a positive read-across from better-than-expected quarterly results from US sportswear giant Nike overnight.

CORPORATE NEWS

In corporate news, UDG Healthcare (UDG) edged up 1% to £10.56 as US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice said it is mulling an improved and final takeover offer for the healthcare services group at £10.80 per share.

Marshall Motor (MMH:AIM) revved up 2.4% to 195.5p after the automotive dealer upgraded profit guidance, despite prevailing industry uncertainties, in an unscheduled trading update.

The car retailer now expects to report an ‘exceptionally strong first half performance in both profit and cash generation’ and sees full year pre-tax profits coming in ‘significantly ahead’ of market expectations.

This reflects ‘a recent unprecedented used vehicle value appreciation and favourable demand-to-supply conditions for both new and used vehicles’ as well as the group’s continued ‘strong outperformance’ of the wider new and used car markets.

Elsewhere, UP Global Sourcing (UPGS) improved 3.3% to 221p after raising £15 million to fund the acquisition of Salter, the bathroom and kitchen scales brand, for which CEO Simon Showman sees ‘significant potential as part of our strong portfolio of value focused consumer goods brands’.

Central Europe-focused freight management company Xpediator (XPD:AIM) raced 9% higher to a new 12-month high of 78.4p after hiking full year profit guidance thanks to strong trading.

OTHER RISERS AND FALLERS

Asset management industry services provider MJ Hudson (MJH:AIM) was marked up 1% to 52.5p on the acquisition of fintech risk specialist Clarus Risk for an initial consideration of £1 million and a three year consideration of up to a further £2.5 million.

In-content advertising company Mirriad (MIRI:AIM) sparked up 7.6% to 49.5p after inking a new commercial agreement with Tencent, China’s biggest online video streaming platform by subscriptions, following two years of successful collaboration.

Tencent and Mirriad will now work together to further scale in-content advertising in the fast-growing Chinese market.

Remote Monitored Systems (RMS:AIM) rose 10.6% to 1.15p after the surveying services company announced that its new anti-viral mask has been approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Medical cannabis research and development minnow Kanabo (KNB) clipped ahead 3.2% to 19.5p after kickstarting commercial production of its medical grade Hemp CBD line in partnership with Pure Origin.

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Issue Date: 25 Jun 2021