Having bounced back over the 7,000 level yesterday London shares are again on the rise in early trade on Tuesday, aided by well-received results from blue chips Sky (SKY) and ARM (ARM). The latter leads the benchmark FTSE 100 index up around 20 points, or 0.3%, to 7,073, while midcaps are running even more strongly higher, the FTSE 250 adding 75 points to 17,679.
Global ingredients, foods and fashion conglomerate Associated British Foods (ABF) heads the Footsie loser board on Tuesday, off 65p (2.3%) to £27.98 despite delivering in-line interims. The Primark owner and running Shares Play of the Week is now guiding for a 'modest' decline in full-year adjusted earnings per share, compared to previous guidance for a 'marginal' decline, due to sterling's ongoing strength.
But the overall mood of investors will be brightened by a guidance-beating first quarter from microprocessor designs champions ARM. Dollar revenues for the three months to end March rose an impressive 14% prompting an upbeat outlook for the rest of the year by management, saying the full year outcome should be 'at least in line with current market expectations.'
Pay-TV leader Sky is up 4% to £10.94 on a bumper third quarter update with 242,000 new customers added year-on-year but analysts flag some concerns beyond the headline numbers. Read the details in today's Shares exclusive web story.
Lower commodity prices were weighing on stocks in the mining and oil sectors, which were pulling back after a decent performance on Monday. Rio Tinto (RIO), Anglo American (AAL), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and Glencore (GLEN) were among the poor performers.
After yesterday's profit warning and subsequent sell-off oil services play Petrofac (PFC) falls a further 4.4% to 872p as JP Morgan Cazenove moves from 'overweight' to 'neutral' and cuts its price target from 971p to 931p.
FTSE 250 home credit provider International Personal Finance (IPF) gains 5.2% to 500p on a favourable regulatory ruling in Poland, one of its key markets. A Consumer Protection and Competition review in the country recommends changes to fees attached to loans. No fines are levied. An investigation into the total cost of credit and annual payment rate calculations continues.
Among the bigger movers, Asia Resource Minerals (ARMS) rises 11.3% to 32p as a potential bid war heats up. Founder Nat Rothschild and Russian coal producer SUEK are considering a joint takeover offer for the troubled coal miner, pitting themselves against a 41p proposal from Asia Coal Energy Ventures.
Budget footwear seller Shoe Zone's (SHOE:AIM) stellar run is arrested today, the shares slumping 29% to 183.5p on a profit warning. The Leicester-based retailer blames warm weather for a first half and full-year profits shortfall that will also shrink the size of the annual shareholder reward. Read Shares exclusive analysis here.
Carpet and floor coverings retailer Carpetright (CPR) is in demand, clipping ahead 7% to 462.25p as news full-year pre-tax profits will beat expectations following a strong fourth quarter prompts forecast upgrades.
Shares in low-cost African carrier Fastjet (FJET:AIM) have not soared 9,428%, this is just the stock's readjustment to the company's one-for-100 share consolidation. The stock is really 3.7% lower at 91.9p.