London shares open sharply higher in early trade on Thursday as a string of resources stocks crowd the top echelons of the blue-chip leader board. This follows positive sessions on Wall Street and in Asia overnight, while Europe is up more than 1% so far. Gains in overnight trading in China, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia provide a boost to cyclical sectors including miners, financials and property in early UK trade.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index jumps 90-odd points, or a gain of around 1.5%, to 6,155. The best of the miners and oils are Tullow Oil (TLW), up 12% to 189p, Glencore (GLEN), 7% higher at 98p and Premier Oil (PMO), which is up 6.5% at 71p.
Asset managers, whose revenues are linked to the performance of financial markets, post strong gains with Henderson (HGG) the biggest gainer, up 3.7% to 270p. The stock is also boosted by a bullish initiation on the asset management industry by analysts at Exane-BNP Paribas, who say Henderson’s exposure to improving European financial markets make it a top pick in the sector.
Among the bigger movers, resources stocks continue to feature heavily among AIM movers with Caza Oil & Gas (CAZA:AIM) collapsing 41% to 0.88p. The exploration minnow warns of massive dilution if it manages to pull of its much needed equity financing.
Going the other way is copper mines hopeful Ortac (OTC:AIM). Its shares leap 33% to 0.06p as it secures convertible loan notes with Kopara Investments that effectively bolster its coughers by an extra $2 million.
Intelligent Energy (IEH:AIM) rallies more than 12% to 112.88p as it signs an agreement to acquire GTL's energy management business, which aims to provide efficient and economical energy to over 27,400 telecom towers in India.
Regency Mines (RGM:AIM) is also up strongly, 20% higher at 0.03p. The rally comes after unveiling a swathe of staff cost cuts, including the departure of non-executive director Julian Lee, who resigns. The company says staff costs will be slashed by more than 60% by February 2016, and total net monthly overheads down by more than 50%.
Atlantic Coal (ATC:AIM) jumps 11% to 0.15p as it posts excellent production results for the third quarter, with key production and sales metrics in the nine months to 30 September all up by double-digits and most by more than 49%.
Elsewhere, property stocks are in demand, with advertising website Zoopla (ZPLA) the main beneficiary, adding 4.1% to 218p.
Pork, sausages and sandwiches supplier Cranswick (CWK) fattens up 2.7% to £16.39 on a tasty first half trading statement. This flags 10% sales growth, slightly ahead of management's expectations and driven by strong volume growth across most product categories and a boost from acquired cooked poultry business Benson Park.