Blue chip stocks open higher in London, up 1.3% at 6,130 as finance ministers of the world's seven leading economies meet at a G-7 summit in Japan to discuss ways of addressing weak economic performance.

Every FTSE 100 stock was up in early deals as investors mulled whether governments would ease the purse springs on public spending, policies already implemented in Japan and Canada.

Japan and the US are pushing for a joint communiqué among all seven nations outlining coordinated public spending initiatives to boost growth.

The proposals are receiving push-back from German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble among others, who yesterday warned of nervous financial markets and the dangers of excessively loose monetary policy.

Firm commodity prices sees diamonds-to-iron ore producer Anglo American (AAL) leading the gainers, up 4.7% to 6.7p.

Drinks bottler and distributor Coca-Cola Hellenic (HBC), up 4.6% at £13.45, is in demand following a broker upgrade from analysts at Citi.


Other cyclical gainers include commodities trader Glencore (GLEN), up 3.2% at 132p, and asset manager Schroders (SDR), up 2.4% at £25.80

price target upgrade from JP Morgan Cazenove helps pharmaceuticals giant Shire (SHP) to a gain of 2.7% to £42.24.

In corporate news, bookmaker Ladbrokes (LAD) soars 10.5% to 132p on news the Competition and Markets Authority is provisionally minded to clear its proposed merger with Gala Coral. It is likely the groups will only need to sell between 350 and 400 betting shops for the deal to go ahead.



Industrial controls supplier Spectris (SXS) slumps more than 5% to £16.79 as it reports a 4% decline in like-for-like sales amid challenging trading conditions in the January to March quarter.

North Africa focused oil exploration and production (E&P) company Circle Oil (COP:AIM) crashes 75% to 0.485p as it launches a strategic review having received indicative proposals which it warns could leave little or no value for shareholders. The company is straining under the weight of its $77.5 million debts.

Tighter cost control and better performance in its market making business Winterflood helps specialist financial outfit Close Brothers (CBG) 4.3% higher to £12.78. Loan book growth in the three months to 30 April slowed to 4% compared to an 8.2% expansion in the nine months to end-April.

Men's tailoring specialist Moss Bros (MOSB) is marked up a penny at 102p on a better-than-expected first quarter update, strong retail sales at improved margins and positive growth from the hire business delivered over the 15 weeks to 14 May. Given a good start to the year and with Moss very much in growth mode, CEO Brian Brick expresses confidence in the retailer meeting annual market profit expectations.

Suit trimmed for web

A positive annual general meeting statement stokes interest in European floor coverings distributor Headlam (HEAD), bid up 5p to 510.5p on news of a healthy first four months of the year. Like-for-like sales grew 4% in the UK business, while Headlam's Continental European operations have returned to form. For more on Headlam's growth and income attractions, read our recent article here.

Independent alcohol wholesaler Conviviality (CVR:AIM) froths up 3.6% to 216.5p on news full-year results are expected to be marginally ahead of expectations. The year ended 1 May was a highly eventful one for the Bargain Booze-to-Wine Rack owner, which not only grew store numbers and attracted new franchisees, but also completed the transformational acquisition of drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark. Post year-end, Conviviality has also announced the £60 million takeover of wine, beer and spirit distributor Bibendum, further strengthening its drinks industry positioning.

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Issue Date: 20 May 2016