UK markets are boosted early on Wednesday by a takeover offer for BG (BG.) and hopes for more merger and acquisition activity. The benchmark FTSE 100 index is again pressing the key 7,000 level, up around 28 points, or 0.4%, at 6,990, while midcaps are also on the rise, the FTSE 250 close to 0.4% higher at 17,562.
Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSB) £47 billion bid for BG - which you can read about in detail here - lights a fire under the sector with BG itself soaring more than 37% to £12.48. BP (BP.) joins the fun, adding 3.8% to 472.2p, while Tullow Oil (TLW) rises 9.8% at 329.7p. Shell itself dives 5.6% to £20.84.
Meanwhile, press reports were also highlighting the possibility of an approach by French media giant Vivendi (VIV:PA) for Sky (SKY) and a Google (GOOG:NDQ) takeover of Twitter (TWTR:NYSE).
Supermarkets operator Sainsbury's (SBRY) is marked up 2.5p to 271.9p as the latest market share data from Kantar Worldpanel, covering the 12 weeks to 29 March, shows it back in growth for the first time since August 2014.
Among the bigger movers, white collar recruiter Robert Walters (RWA) is the All-Share's biggest gainer outside the oil sector, adding 5.9% to 380p. Net fee income was up 12% year-on-year in the first three months of 2015.
Motive Television (MTV:AIM) jumps 31% to 0.02p as it wins a one-year renewable contract for the Motive/Twin Peak video solution with Aegean Speed Lines, provider of ferry services among Athens and the Cyclades.
Oil exploration minnow Xtract Resources (XTR:AIM) rises 12% to 0.19p has increased monthly milling capacity at the Chepica Gold and Copper Mine in Chile from 6,000 t/month to 10,000 t/month through the installation and commissioning of a new ball mill.
Oil services small cap SeaEnergy (SEA:AIM) slumps 12.5% to 21p as progress with its R2S visual asset management business is overshadowed in its 2014 results by a £2.3 million writedown on its legacy holding in Lansdowne Oil & Gas (LOGP:AIM). This will mean a post-tax loss of £2.5 million.
Proton therapy machine-maker Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO:AIM) falls 6.6% to 8.7p on issuing 1.5 million shares to Darwin Strategic at 3.4p each. This is the result of warrants issued to Darwin to help Advanced Oncotherapy bring its cancer-fighting machine to the UK.
Tracking kit designer Starcom (STAR:AIM) slides 7.5% to 7.75p as it changes its revenue recognition policy. The company will no longer recognise revenue in respect of 'bill and hold' sales prior to delivery of the goods. As a result full year revenue will materially miss market expectations.
ZincOx (ZOX:AIM), up 5.6% to 9.5p, announces record first quarter production at its Korean Recycling Plant. Throughput improved by over 17% on the fourth quarter of 2014 and the plant has now run on a continuous basis for over 90 days.
Video search engine Blinkx (BLNX:AIM) slides 3% to 29.63p despite confirming full year results will match market forecasts, implying revenue of at least $210 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around $3 million.
IRN-BRU-to-Strathmore water maker A.G. Barr (BAG), outperforming a tough soft drinks market, gains 11.5p (1.8%) to 652p as broker Investec upgrades its rating to 'buy' following the stock's recent fall.
Interactive TV gaming company NetPlay TV (NPT:AIM) adds 1.3% to 9.8p after signing a new agreement with Channel 5 which extends its current relationship until 2018 and provides over 70 hours of broadcast time per week. NetPlay intends to develop new show formats to broaden its customer following.