The FTSE 100 takes news of Sunday’s nuclear test in North Korea in its stride, falling just 8.86 points to 7,429.64. However, the best performers on the index are precious metals miners Randgold Resources (RRS) and Fresnillo (FRES) as there is a small shift into traditional safe havens.
Software product business Micro Focus (MCRO) slips 1.6% to £22.27 as it prepares to reveal the completion of its merger with HPE software at today’s annual general meeting. You can read about the $8.8bn deal and the Micro Focus story in general here.
Budget airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) nudges 0.7% lower to £29.34 despite reporting a 24.4% leap in passenger numbers in August. The load factor, a gauge of how full its planes are, ticked up to 95.4% from 93%.
Gold miner Acacia Mining (ACA) says it expects to return to positive cash generation early in 2018 after suspending underground mining at one of its three mines in Tanzania. As a result annual production is expected to be around 100,000 ounces lower than previous guidance of 850,000 to 900,000 ounces. The shares dive 11% to 184.4p on the news.
Workwear laundry business Johnson Service (JSG) gains 4.6% to 145.25p as it reports first half pre-tax profit up 30.3% to £12.9m, revenue up 19.3% to £138m and boosts its dividend by 12.5%, also guiding for full year numbers to be ‘slightly ahead’ of expectations. Separately chief executive Chris Sander says he will retire next year.
Chemicals outfit Victrex (VCT) gains 5.1% to £21.50 as it announces its tax rate will be lowered from 21% to 12% as it is able to take advantage of the Patent Box tax break in the UK thanks to substantial investment in R&D. The company says this will have an ongoing favourable impact on earnings per share and cash but that no cash benefit will be seen in the September 2017 financial year.