London shares make modest gains in early trade on Tuesday as traders sniff out value buys after yesterday's sell-off. It remains unclear whether the positive bias will continue through to the close. Wall Street fell overnight, as did Japan.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index rises around 25 points, or 0.45%, to 5,714,although midcaps continue to struggle, the FTSE midcap 250 index down 43 points at 15,454.
In corporate news, payments processor Worldpay (WPG) sinks 3.5% to 266p on top of heavy losses yesterday as investors fretted over an impending earnings update from US-listed rival First Data (FDC:NYSE). First Data shed 14.1% in the US trading session and is scheduled to make the announcement after the close today.
Travel agent TUI (TUI) slips 3.4% to £10.61 after reporting a 40% drop in summer bookings to Turkey caused by terror attacks and geopolitical uncertainty in the region. It has kept its forecast for underlying EBITDA (earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation) to rise by at least 10% this year, saying customers are instead choosing to holiday at its own hotels in Spain and the Canary Islands. The group's underlying EBITDA loss narrowed by 3% to €101.7 million in the first quarter to 31 December.
Meanwhile, the latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel provide a boost for Tesco (TSCO) and J Sainsbury (SBRY), up 0.6p to 173.2p and 1.9p to 244.8p respectively. Over the 12 weeks ending 31 January, the British grocery market returned to slow growth following a disappointing Christmas; Sainbury's increased its sales for the sixth period in a row, while larger rival Tesco's sales showed an improving trend.
A profit warning makes social care provider Cambian (CMBN) London’s largest faller in early trading as rising costs linked to its growth strategy forces it the scrap the final dividend sending shares 43% lower to 68.7p.
Cancer drug and diagnostic developer ValiRx (VAL:AIM) climbs 13.3% higher to 17.5p on its prostate cancer treatment VAL201 passing safety tests with flying colours. The company plans to expand the use of the treatment to tackle endometriosis, an infertility condition.
Technology minnow Cyan (CYAN:AIM) jumps 9% to 0.16p as it receives an initial purchase order from telecommunications contractor Micromodje for the implementation of 2,000 smart meters in Iran. These will be used as part of a street traffic cameras programme. But the initial purchase order is worth just £67,000.
Soft drinks group Britvic (BVIC) firms 3p to 650.5p as investors welcome the appointment of SuperGroup (SGP) CEO Euan Sutherland and SABMiller's (SAB) European boss Sue Clark as non-executive directors.