London equity markets rally for the third day straight in early trade on Wednesday with sentiment bolstered by European stock markets and a strong showing in Asia and on Wall Street overnight. The thrust of this renewed confidence comes from hopes that China is about to pull the trigger on a new round of economic stimulus actions in an effort to address the nation's slowdown,
In London, miners are obvious China beneficiaries. Anglo American (AAL) surges 6.75% to 751p, topping the Footsie leader board, but followed closely by Glencore (GLEN) and BHP Billiton (BLT), up 5.3% and 4.6% respectively.
Among the bigger movers, five-a-side football pitches operator Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL:AIM) tumbles more than 20% to 155p after warning that full year pre-tax profit will miss expectations. The company guides for between £9.3 million and £9.8 million, below consensus forecasts of £10.8 million. The third quarter has started badly with like-for-like sales down by 10%, which the company blames on tough comparisons from last year's World Cup and a significant increase in teams cancelling matches and going on holiday abroad. Read Shares web exclusive here.
Mobile payments network Monitise (MONI:AIM) collapses again on yet more disappointing results and widening losses. He pre-tax deficit soared from £63.4 million a year ago to a staggering £227.4 million this time round, sparking more widespread share selling. The stock dives more than 30% to 4.04p, valuing the business at just £87.5 million. The stock has crashed from near 80p levels in 18-months.
Resources recycler Zibao Metals Recycling (ZBO:AIM) is also down heavily, off 20% to 3p, despite posting higher profits on lower revenues. But a decision to axe the final dividend due to 'difficult conditions' is not going down well with investors.
Elsewhere, Irish discount carrier Ryanair (RYA) rallies close on 8% to 14p as it hikes full year net profit guidance by 25%. The company had been steering for between €940 million to €970 million, but that guidance has now been lifted to a €1.175 billion to €1.225 billion range.
LED lighting components design minnow ProPhotonix (PPIX:AIM) slumps 7% to 1.63p as its full year results are dented by forex headwinds. The half-year net loss narrows to $0.17 million from $0.48 million this time last year. The company also unveils the launch of a new line of products, Cobra Cure.
Maverick retailer Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International (SPD), a running Shares Play of the Week, is marked up another 7.5p to 783p on a concise-yet-reassuring first quarter trading statement. CEO Dave Forsey reiterates full-year underlying EBITDA guidance of £420 million and says the sports retail powerhouse is pushing ahead with the roll out of large format city centre stores and expanding its Shirebrook distribution hub.
Fulham-based fashion brand-owner Laura Ashley (ALY) edges 0.25p higher to 28p after posting in-line interim results including like-for-like retail sales up 7%, as well as a positive current trading statement. For more on the iconic British brand's growth potential, read our article from May.
Chinese orange plantations play Asian Citrus' (ACHL:AIM) miserable run continues, the shares souring 10.3% to 8.63p on yet another profit warning. Following a second half hit by disease, typhoon damage and lower orange yields and selling prices, full-year losses will be more than double the RMB 193 million incurred in the first half.
The UK’s largest drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) trades 1% lower at £13.14 after one of its respiratory drugs failed in clinical trials. The treatment was only effective in around 12% of those suffering from chronic breathing difficulties.
Richard Branson-backed Virgin Money (VM.) falls 3.9% to 406.6p as US investor Wilbur Ross sells 50 million shares, or around 10% of the lender, at a 4.4% discount to Tuesday’s closing price. This reduces his stake to 12% from 23%.