London shares make steady if unspectacular gains in early trade on Friday with a mixed bag of resources, financials and leisure stocks leading the way. The FTSE 100 index edges around 38 points higher, or 0.6%, to 5,936, lending hopes that UK blue-chips could test 6,000 levels later in the day or perhaps early next week.
Miners were in the lens behind Anglo American (AAL) following on from a strong share price performance on Thursday. The stock once again tops the Footsie leader board, up nearly 9% to 357.7p.
Elsewhere, Bahamas Petroleum (BPC:AIM) jumps 21% to 2p as welcome new legislation on the islands provide an upgraded and modernised framework for petroleum exploration operations and are set to guide and govern the next phase of safe and responsible hydrocarbon exploration.
Online takeaway ordering system Just Eat (JE.) soars 9.8% to 395.3p after acquiring four takeaway businesses in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico for for €125 million (£94.7 million). Just Eat expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings per share in 2016 and to add £5 million to 2017 EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) and £10 million to 2018 EBITDA.
Electronics distributor Premier Farnell (PFL) leaps 7% to 106p as it secures the $224.2 million (£155 million) sale of US fire safety equipment business Akron Brass.
Budget online travel agent On The Beach (OTB) falls 4.9% to 290p despite reporting year-on-year UK revenue growth of 26% in the four months to 31 January in a period of significant volatility caused by the recent terrorist attacks. The number of daily unique visitors to the site is up 18.9% and the group says it's confident of meeting its full year expectations.
British wholesaler Booker (BOK) adds 0.5p at 168.5p as Shore Capital picks up on the sale of 15 Budgens stores in Greater London and the south and east of England to the Co-op for an undisclosed sum. The deal comes as a slight surprise, following the £40 million acquisition (14 Sep '15) of Budgens and Londis in Great Britain, though investors have faith in CEO Charles Wilson's logic. Long-term fan Shore Capital sticks with its cautious 'hold' stance on the running Shares Play of the Week given more subdued trading trends and a high rating.