In a typically quiet Friday trading session investors have little new news to lend direction so many remain sitting on their hands, the FTSE 100 drifting modestly by about 15 points, or 0.2%, to 6,897. Mid caps budge by even less, the FTSE losing around 0.15%.
One of the bigger stories of the day, if not share price moves, is word that David Forsey, CEO of embattled leisure retailer Sports Direct (SPD) has quit. Raising a few eyebrows is news that founder and major stake owner Mike Ashley will replace him in the top job himself. The shares nudge 1.7% higher to 291.8p.
Opioid addiction treatment specialist Indivior (INDV) falls 11.7% to 288p as 35 US states launch an anti-trust civil claim against the company, alleging violations of state and federal antitrust and consumer protection laws. The allegations claim Indivior blocked generic competition by getting patients to switch to a dissolvable strip version of its Suboxone product just as the tablet version’s patent expired.
Housebuilders are also popular, prolonging their recent bounce after the post-Brexit sell-off. Persimmin (PSN) heads the pack, and tops the Footsie leader board, up 3.7% at £18.64, with Barratt (BDEV) and Taylor Wimpey (TW.) close behind.
Oil and gas company Tullow Oil (TLW) stays flat at 229.4p despite finally confirming hull and machinery insurance cover for its floating production, storage and offloading vessel that serves the Jubilee field offshore Ghana. The news comes after the failure of the turret bearing earlier this year brought operations to a halt.
Mobile giant Vodafone (VOD) has extended its partner market agreement with Afrimax in Cameroon. Under the Vodafone Cameroon brand, the pair will launch mobile data services in the nations two major cities - Douala and Yaounde, plus run out a host of services kiosks across other sites, although the market shrugs off the deal as insignificant, the shares easing 1% to 220.7p.
Engineer Smiths (SMIN) has sold its Artificial Lift business in a $39.5 million deal with Endurance Lift Solutions. The unit had mainly sold sucker rod kit to onshore upstream oil and gas customers. The shares are flat at £14.16.
Veterinary services consolidator CVS (CVSG:AIM) sheds 1.7% to 929p following a fantastic share price run and despite announcing outstanding full-year results. Some investors take profits on the news 'investment in a number of longer term initiatives will have a slightly negative impact on our profits in the short term before generating positive returns'.
Technology investor NetScientific (NSCI:AIM) advances 7.3% to 81p after portfolio company Wanda was selected by 24Hr HomeCare in Los Angeles to use its predictive analytics and behavioural guidance technology to monitor OAPs and the disabled in their homes.