The FTSE 100 opens in positive territory, up 9.45 points to 7,679.22. The UK’s leading index has been buoyed by statements from the US Federal Reserve and better than expected Chinese service sector data.

Embattled department store operator Debenhams (DEB) crashes 23.9% to 27.08p after revealing its like-for-like sales fell in the 17 weeks to 30 December. In its Christmas trading update, the retailer says group like-for-like sales were down by 1.3%. The company says pre-tax profit for 2018 will now likely be in the range of £55m to £65m.

Infrastructure solutions firm Costain (COST) ticks up by 3p after a stating that full year results for 2017 will be in line with the board’s expectations.

The Macau Opportunities Fund (MPO) which allows investors to gain exposure to China’s gambling heartland advances 12.6% to 206p on releasing strong numbers in an investor update. The fund reports that double-digit growth in gaming is predicted for this year and the International Monetary Fund has raised its forecasts for Macau’s gross domestic product from 2.8% to 13.4% for 2017.

One of Russia’s largest gold mining companies Petropavlovsk (POG) sheds 1.8% to 7.71p on announcing the resignation of Vladislav Egoro, a non executive director. He was also formerly a major shareholder although his company the Renova Group sold its entire shareholding to Petropavlovsk which is why Egoro has resigned.

Digital marketing company Be Heard (BHRD:AIM) drops 14.2% on releasing a profit warning. The company says that profitability for 2017 is expected to be below market expectations due to a number of unexpected factors.

Tech company Ethernity Networks (ENET:AIM) slumps 40.5% to 76.5p after revealing that amendments to contracts will negatively impact revenues and profits for 2017.

Another tech firm Sopheon (SPE:AIM) fares better, gaining 16% to 420p after saying that revenue and pre-tax profits will be ahead of market expectations.

Ceramics producer Churchill China (CHH:AIM) is up 3.5% after stating that cash and deposit balances are expected to exceed market expectations.

Radio networks company CyanConnode (CYAN:AIM) drops 7% to 18.7p as it states that a ‘significant’ customer has delayed a contract which means revenues for 2017 will be significantly below market expectations.

Mobile advertising company Taptica (TAP:AIM) ticks up 5.9% to 492.5p after saying its expects EBITDA to be ahead of market expectations.

Plastics products and technologies company Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM:AIM) gains 13.2% to 15p as its trading update says its 2017 revenues will be marginally above market expectations. The company also expects pre-tax profits to be significantly higher than market expectations at no less than £400,000.

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Issue Date: 04 Jan 2018