London shares limp higher in early trade on Friday despite more bleak views after the latest Greece debt talks and limited corporate news. But at least the FTSE looks capable of halting a run of days in the red, including touching five-month lows earlier in the week, the blue chip index nudging 0.1% higher to 6,715.
Midcaps and the wider market are similarly sluggish, tracking similarly higher to the Footise, the FTSE 250 at 17,703, while the FTSE All Share stands at 3,663.
Pharma group Hikma (HIK) heads the Footsie leader board, adding a little more than 5% higher to £20.005 as investors continued to like its upside potential.
US-focused equipment hire specialist Ashtead (AHT) is also among the leader blue chip gainers, advancing 1.7% to £11.19. It follows US rival United Rentals (URI:NYSE), which gained 2.3% overnight, and is also helped by a slightly weaker sterling, which retreats from a six month high against the dollar.
Oil services group Petrofac (PFC) dips 0.6% to 869p despite announcing that its Offshore Projects & Operations business unit has secured contract renewals for operations and maintenance work worth about $400 million on the UK Continental Shelf.
In an otherwise deathly quiet day for corporate news business telco and data centres business Colt (COLT) jumps 21% to 188.5p as its leading shareholder Fidelity makes a cash offer to take the firm private. The investment giant already owned nearly 70% of the stock and is offering independent shareholders a way out with a 190p per share offer. However, the deal may be complicated by the view of independent directors that reckon the offer undervalues the company and its prospects.
Among the bigger movers, property project manager Styles & Wood (STY:AIM) soars more than 33% higher to 79.5p after booking full year pre-tax profit of £0.6 million. That's a decent turnaround from the £0.5 million deficit posted the year before, despite a modest £3 million revenue rise to £97 million. The company has also completed a refinancing.
Power generation minnow Rurelec (RUR:AIM) plunges 18.5% to 2.75p as it reveals plans to sell its development arm to exiting CEO Peter Earl for virtually nothing. This will leave the business with just its producing assets and will cut operating costs, but investors seem less than convinced that this agreement adds value. Alongside the announcement Rurelec posts full year pre-tax losses of £2.9 million.
Web and data hosting tiddler Daily Internet (DAIP:AIM) leaps more than 10% to 1.88p as its Netplan unit seals a two-year contract renewal worth £500,000 with one of the world's largest insurance companies.
Dublin-headquartered fruit importer Fyffes (FFY:AIM) sparks up 9.5% to 93.6p as it hikes full-year earnings guidance, having successfully pushed through banana and pineapple price increases and achieved operational efficiencies.
Irish petrol forecourt retailer Applegreen (APGN:AIM) leaps 8.3% to 300p on its AIM debut, having raised £66.9 million (£51.1 million for the company) via a placing at 277p. Shares cast an eye over the group's ambitious growth strategy in May.
A strategic partnership with mobile analytics business Adience Solution sparks a sharp 12% jump in the shares of personal health monitoring kit designer CloudTag (CTAG:AIM). The stock is trading at 3.5p.
Elsewhere, China-headquartered CIC Gold has announced plans to float on London's Main Market. The business plans to take non-controlling stakes in gold mines and miners. First day of dealings is scheduled to be 23 June.
Budget greeting cards seller Card Factory (CARD) cheapens 5.6% to 339.4p on news directors and senior managers, including CEO Richard Hayes and CFO Darren Bryant, plan to sell roughly 7.4 million shares via a placing. Shares outlined the retailer's cash generative characteristics in our 'Cash rich beauties' cover story.