London markets dip modestly in early trade on Monday nudging back from record closing highs hit late last week, with a swathe of mining and retail-related stocks providing direction. Wall St closed higher overnight Friday, while Asian markets are up this morning.
The FTSE 100 index FTSE 100 slips around 19 points, or 0.3%, to 7,071, while midcaps fade similarly, the FTSE 250 index off around 45 points to 17,834. WTI crude is largely flat at $51.66/bbl, while Brent inches a fraction higher to $57.96/bbl.
Irish packaging company Smurfit Kappa (SKG) gains 2.5% to 29.4p on rumours US-based International Paper is considering a £6 billion takeover bid for the company.
Fresh from the news it may be sitting on a substantial resource near Gatwick airport UK Oil & Gas (UKOG:AIM) announces it has completed the acquisition a 40% interest in the onshore PEDL126 licence from private operator Magellan Petroleum for a nominal sum of £1. Its interest in the acreage – which contains the Markwells Wood oil discovery – is now 100%. The shares are down 3.95% to 2.16p after rising in early trading.
Plastic additives specialist Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM:AIM) tumbles 17.6% to 8.8p on a 12% fall in revenue to £6.35 million in 2014, largely due to timing issues for sales of its d2w masterbatch. Adjusted loss per share has increased to 0.23p from 0.11p a year earlier.
Infectious disease-focused biotech Epistem (EHP:AIM) leaps 16.9% to 310p on expectations that India’s regulator is ready to approve the sale of its tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic in the country. India accounts for a quarter of the $1 billion TB diagnostic market.
Better news comes from Imaginatik (IMTK:AIM), up 3.7% to 3.5p, after securing a pair of new contracts. One is with a US-based higher educational institution and the other with a global retail consumer products company.
Prospective Falkland Islands oil explorer Argos Resources (ARG:AIM) will be a participant in the current drilling campaign in the region as it farms out its acreage in the North Falklands Basin. Noble Energy (NBL:NYSE) and Edison International will take over ownership of the licence, PL001, in return for one exploration well plus a chunk of back costs already incurred. Argos will retain an overriding royalty interest of 5% of gross revenues from all hydrocarbon discoveries along with $2.75 million in cash on completion plus $800,000 annually from next year until royalty income starts to come through.