London shares start the week on the front foot as big commodities blue-chips rally strongly in early deals on Monday. The FTSE 100 index rises around 60 points, or 1%, to 6,101 although midcaps gains are harder won. The FTSE 250 nudges 0.3% up to 16,865.
China's mainland Shanghai Composite stock exchange re-opens after a four-day break, posting a 2.5% decline overnight which sees it catch up with losses in the US and Europe late last week. Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS), a FTSE 350-listed China investment trust gains 2.4% to 116p.
In company news, Glencore (GLEN) jumps as the miner says it plans to put dividends on ice, sell assets and raise $2.5 billion in a new share issue to help cut net debt to $20 billion by the end of next year. Investors welcome the news, bidding the stock more than 7% higher to 131.85p, making the shares one of the day's biggest blue-chip gainers.
The overall commodities backcloth appears much improved with several key instruments doing well, including copper, gold and silver on the up. This sparks a sector-wide rally led by Antofagasta (ANTO), which tops the Footsie leader board on Monday, followed closely by Fresnillo (FRES) and Anglo American (AAL).
Grocery giant Tesco (TSCO) cheapens 1p to 184.95p despite confirming the £4 billion sale of Korean business Homeplus to Asia-focused buyout firm MBK Partners. The deal comes as no surprise to investors; it will help Tesco reduce debt by more than £4.2 billion, as CEO Dave Lewis focuses on strengthening the balance sheet and turning round the core UK business.
Global foods, ingredients and fashion conglomerate Associated British Foods (ABF) falls 2.6% to £30.58 on a mixed pre-close trading update. Though the Primark-owner's year to 12 September guidance remains unchanged, Associated British Foods warns a weakening in emerging market currencies will hit operating profit next year.
Among the bigger movers, mining minnow Minera (MIRL:AIM) collapses 27% to 2.63p as it confirms an attack on its Corihuarmi mine in Peru. The company says around 100 people stormed the site from the community of Atcas, forcing their way on to the Corihuarmi site and occupying key installations, forcing the company to suspend all operations.
Going the other way, Lekoil (LEK:SAIM) has confirmed the start of production from the Otakikpo marginal field in oil mining lease (OML) 11, which is located on the shore line in the south-eastern part of the Niger Delta. The news sparks a 20%-odd jump in the shares to 25.75p.
Staying with energy minnows, Madagascar Oil & Gas (MOIL:AIM) continues to look for a strategic partner for the Tsimiroro development, and says interest had been expressed by a number of credible parties. It expects to finalise a deal by end-Q1 2016, but that's too long for many investors, the shares sinking by around 20% to 5p.
Security services consultancy tiddler PHSC (PHSC:AIM) crashes more than 12% to 24.5p as it warns of lower full year earnings. The end of two major contracts for the £3.2 million company are likely to be hard to replace despite order book replenishment actions.
Back with the miners, Condor Gold (CNR:AIM) has hoisted the for sale sign after launching a strategic review of the business. The shares jump about 8% to 55p. The stock had traded as high as 196p in late 2012.
Shield Therapeutics is looking to raise £110 million to build the infrastructure needed to get its anaemia drug Feraccru on sale in Europe. Its main market IPO is pencilled in for 9 October, and if successful, it should also provide the needed funds to put PT20, which treats a kidney-related condition, through Phase III trials.
Also looking to tap UK investors for cash is Finnish drug company Faron Pharmaceuticals, which intends to join AIM in October. Reports claim it is looking to raise £10 million, which will fund phase III clinical trials of white lung syndrome treatment Traumakine.