UK stocks remain largely flat in a quiet post-Christmas return to work for traders on Monday with little corporate news around to stimulate the interest of investors. A final vote in the Greek parliament to choose a new president might supply modest direction later on Monday morning but for the time being the benchmark FTSE 100 index floats roughly around its 6,610.32 finish on Christmas Eve at 6,6.01.
Miners are in demand, led by Fresnillo (FRES) and Randgold Resources (RRS), up close to 3% each at 753p and £42.72 respectively. Grocery titan Tesco (TSCO) ticks 2.15p higher to 188.15p as investors welcome reports of a fresh discounting drive through its One Stop stores, to help combat market share erosion at the hands of German retailers Aldi and Lidl.
But the market's main talking point is the collapse of City Link. Run by Jon Moulton's Better Capital (BCAP), the finance house has been forced to issue a grovelling apology over the parcel courier's shock collapse. Better Capital, whose shares nudge 0.5p lower to 88.25p, says today that it 'very much regrets' that staff were told of the company's entry into administration on Christmas Day. Administrator Ernst & Young has been appointed to attempt to salvage what it can of he business.
Exploration group BG (BG) adds 2.9p at 884.1p after confirming first loads of cargo for liquified natural gas (LNG) from its Queensland Curtis LNG facility onto the Methane Rita Andrea vessel. The second cargo of LNG was scheduled to be loaded onto a carrier which was due to arrive in the first week of January.
Tracking device minnow Starcom (STAR:AIM) is the standout winner on AIM on Monday after unveiling a deal with a Porsche retail dealership in Germany for its Helios TT vehicle tracking system, raising hopes of wider adoption. That sparks a 71% hike in the share price to 10.25p.
Oil explorer Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG:AIM) also rallies strongly after agreeing a deal to supply gas for two power stations in Cameroon run by energy company ENEO. The shares jump 13.8% to 56.75p.
Income focused Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Redefine International (RDI) cheapens 0.1p to 54.15p on the resignation of long-serving finance director Andrew Rowell.