London shares are drifting and mixed in early deals as traders laboured over the dichotomy of choosing to back safe-haven assets such as gold and gilts, or risking equities volatility driven by a raft of global factors. Wall Street and Asia rose overnight, with Europe up mildly so far.
British Gas-owner Centrica (CNA) rallies 3.6% to 201.1p as it books a resilient full year financial performance despite challenging wholesale oil and gas prices. Adjusted operating profits fell 12% to £1.46 billion. British Gas itself saw profits rise 31% to £574 million.
European electricals retailer Darty (DRTY) darts 5.3% higher to 104.5p on a strong third quarter trading statement, flagging brisk business over the Christmas and winter sale periods despite the terrible events in Paris. French like-for-like sales sparked up 4.4% and CEO Regis Schultz flags further improvement in the retailer's cash position. We'll look at the update in more detail here shortly.
Colombian oil producer Amerisur Resources (AMER:AIM) gains 14.4% to 27.8p as it secures the necessary approvals to export oil from its flagship Platanillo block into an Ecuadorian pipeline. This should significantly reduce transportation costs and allow the company to tap more of the field's full capacity. First deliveries into the pipeline are expected after testing operations in late March.
Cameroon gas producer Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG:AIM), which we last looked at in detail here, gains 10.7% to 41.1p as it takes a 75% stake in an asset next to its existing Logbaba block. Matanda covers an area 60 times larger than Logbaba, with the North Matanda field reckoned to hold 1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas and 136 million barrels of condensate.