Amid the imminent return of James Bond to cinemas, investors raced to buy shares in Cineworld (CINE) in anticipation of strong ticket sales. Cineworld’s shares jumped 11.8% higher to 80p, providing some fizz for the markets which were otherwise lacking major action.

The FTSE 100 ended the session in positive territory, up 0.17% at 7063.40. But the FTSE 250 finished the day flat at 23,608.63. This was partly in response to a decidedly mixed performance from US equity markets.

At the London close, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite index were both in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading 0.36% higher.

A stronger oil price prompted renewed institutional buying of the oil majors. Brent crude traded 62 cents firmer at $78.71 per barrel, its highest level in over a year, as rising demand around the world in the lead-up to winter pushed energy prices higher across the board.

In response, shares in BP (BP.) gained 3.2% to 330p and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) added 4.4%% to £15.95.

Aero engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce (RR.was the top FTSE performer after winning a US Air Force contract to supply engines for the iconic B-52 for the next 30 years.

The firm called the contract a ‘major win’, although it didn’t reveal the commercial details. Its shares gained 11% to 147p.

Shares in serviced office group IWG (IWG) jumped 4.3% to 299p after news reports over the weekend suggested founder and chief executive Mark Dixon was considering breaking the firm up and listing its corporate booking app on the US market.

The company, which owns the Regus and Spaces office brands, could list its Worka comparison app through an initial public offering or a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), according to Sky News.

United Utilities (UU.), which supplies water to the North West of England, said trading in the first half was in line with its expectations, although it noted household consumption remained high as many customers were continuing to work from home, driving up operating profits. Its shares were down 1.3% at 994p.

Private equity and infrastructure company 3i (III) reported good progress in its investment portfolio in the first half.

Dutch retailer Action, 3i’s largest holding, posted a 20% increase in sales year-to-date to more than €4.5 billion. 3i said it expected further strong progress in the firm’s EBITDA going into the year-end. Its shares fell 1.9% to £12.75.

Generic pharmaceutical company Hikma (HIK) agreed to acquire US based generic sterile injectable company Custopharm for up to $425 million.

Under the terms of the deal, Hikma will pay an initial cash consideration of $375 million, with a further $50 million in contingent consideration payable upon the achievement of certain commercial milestones. Its shares were 1.2% higher at £24.15.

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Issue Date: 27 Sep 2021