London’s blue-chip benchmark firms 31.4 points to 7,341.4 on Monday, opening on the front foot following a generally positive session on Wall Street on Friday, as investors around the world appeared to be coming to terms with the ongoing tensions between the US and North Korea.
Corporate news is fairly thin on the ground, although one eye-catching mover is smart home technology tiddler LightwaveRF (LWRF:AIM), which sparks up 8.5% to 25.5p. The company announces that its next generation Apple HomeKit product range for controlling smart devices is about to launch in Apple’s retail stores in the UK and UAE, as well as online via apple.com.
Shipbroker Clarkson (CKN) has wind in its sails, the shares bid up 20p to £26.63 on strong first half results showing increasing sales and volumes with underling profit before tax up 12% to £24.5m. Management says ‘very early signs of recovery’ are emerging in some of the major shipping markets and expresses ‘confidence that we are best positioned for the upturn when it occurs’.
Investors were unimpressed by Gulf Keystone Petroleum's (GKP:AIM) pledge to meet production guidance of 32,000 to 38,000 barrels of oil per day, marking the shares down 1.1% to 95.1p. The company also notes its Shaikan field in Kurdistan, northern Iraq reached the milestone of producing 40m barrels to date and reveals receipt of a $12m payment from the Kurdistan Regional Government for exports from the field.
Logistics and airport supplier John Menzies (MNZS) edges 2p higher to 705p after pulling the plug on a deal to sell its distribution arm to DX (DX.:AIM). A recent profit warning from DX may have made the cash and share offer deal look unappealing. John Menzies says it has 'undertaken further financial due diligence on DX.... as a result of which it became apparent to the John Menzies board that the combination would be required to be effected on revised terms'.
Investors are unnerved by the outlook statement, chairman Richard Last stating ‘the sales cycle is unpredictable and remains longer than we would like’ and explaining Arcontech’s positive prospects ‘need to be tempered against uncertainties in the investment banking and finance sectors, as a result of the low interest rate environment and issues following Brexit.’
Internet of Things-focused investor Tern (TERN:AIM) takes a turn for the worse, the shares marked down 12.3% to 7.12p. This follows an increase in the size of a fundraising from £300,000 to £600,000, priced at a discounted 6.6p, to sate bumper demand from private investors through PrimaryBid.