UK stocks finished in positive territory on Monday, although earlier gains were pared as US/China tensions escalated following the arrest in Hong Kong of media tycoon Jimmy Lai under national security laws and the New York Fed warned about a credit crunch for US firms.
In retaliation for Washington slapping sanctions on 11 officials from Hong Kong and China – not to mention the TikTok/WeChat situation – Beijing returned the favour, targeting 11 Americans including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
At 16.35, the benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 18.41 points higher, up 0.31%, at 6,050.59.
Fashion retailer Superdry (SDRY) leapt 18.7% to 140p even as its first quarter revenue slumped by almost a quarter, though the company said the fall wasn’t as deep as it had initially expected.
Superdry also announced that it had entered into a new £70 million financing facility with existing lenders HSBC and BNPP, extending the term until January 2023.
Shipping services provider Clarkson (CKN) rallied 12.1% to £23.55, having reinstated its dividend after a strong performance in its broking division bolstered its first half profit.
Clarkson would pay the equivalent of its deferred 2019 final dividend of 53p per share as an interim dividend. It also declared a further interim dividend of 25p, unchanged on-year.
Transport company FirstGroup (FGP) advanced 5.7% to 41p while welcoming an eight-week extension by the UK government of funding for the bus industry.
Power generation group ContourGlobal (GLO) ended 1.5p lower at 200p despite maintaining a commitment to grow its annual dividend by 10% after reporting a higher first half profit.
Professional services group Capita (CPI) firmed 1.3% to 37.5p on securing a £355 million contract extension with Transport for London to continue managing the city’s congestion charge and low emissions zones.
Life sciences company investor Syncona (SYNC) shed 0.4% to 255p, even as it posted a positive return in the June quarter amid an increase in the value of its portfolio companies.
Syncona’s net asset value return for the three months through June was 13.5%, with net assets of £1.41 billion, or 210.7p per share.
Mining company Polymetal International (POLY) edged up 1p to £20.13 amid news it had formed a joint venture with Rosgeology to carry out exploration in Bashkortostan, Russia.
Identity data intelligence platform specialist GB Group (GBG:AIM) gained 5.1% at 768.5p after flagging better-than-expected business in a figure-free first quarter update to 30 June.
Subprime lender Morses Club (MCL:AIM) jumped 17.7% to 60p on announcing that its collections and sales were both on an improving trend.
Pharmaceutical services provider Open Orphan (ORPH:AIM) gained 5.4% to 14.2p after it won a £4 million contract from a ‘top three’ global pharmaceutical company.