After providing support for the index yesterday (25 Feb) the banks – in the form of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - weighed on the FTSE 100 today but mining stocks came to the rescue with Glencore (GLEN), Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Billiton (BLT) all up more than 4%. The FTSE as a whole gains 1.4% to 6096.92.
RBS dives 8% to 224.2p after reporting a £2 billion loss in 2015. The lender allocated £3.6 billion to pay legal costs and compensation claims linked to product mis-selling. Almost £3 billion of restructuring costs was another factor behind it remaining in the red for an eight successive year. The bonus pool was cut by 11% to £373 million.
A strong set of 2015 results from online property portal Rightmove (RMV) – with pre-tax profits up 12% - is not sufficient for investors who mark its stock down 4.4% to £37.42. This could reflect some profit taking after a stellar 2015 for the share price.
It's a good day for engineer IMI (IMI), up 4.6% to 896p, as it forecasts an improvement in financial performance in the second half of the year on the back of cost cutting and restructuring initiatives. Tough markets dragged on all its key product lines in the year to 31 December 2015, with revenue declines across its Critical, Precision and Hydronic engineering units.
AIM-quoted E&P Petroceltic (PCI:AIM) is down 36.1% to 11.5p as Sunny Hill, a proxy for Russian activist shareholder Worldview, bids 3p per share in cash for the company. Petroceltic is yet to comment on the offer, broker Cenkos comments: 'We anticipate that (non-Russian) shareholders will see this deal as deeply insulting as it is clear that the value of the Ain Tsila field is certainly far greater than 3p/sh – even if sold in a fire sale.'
Sports Direct International (SPD) cheapens 4.85p to 394.6p after flagging an increase in the cost of its overall borrowings in future, as it will no longer draw down from a £250 million loan facility with owner Mike Ashley's MASH Holdings in response to 'unjustified criticism' over the sports retail titan's corporate governance.
Drug developer 4D Pharma (DDDD:AIM) falls 5% to 885p after delaying the start of phase I clinical trials for Paediatric Crohn’s Disease treatment Thetanix. The trial was due to start on 1 March but has been hit by supply issues.
Shield Therapeutics (STX:AIM) races 3% higher to 154.5p as its shares debut on AIM. The company raised £30 million from its initial public offering (IPO), which values the business at £167 million, and will fund the launch of iron deficiency drug Feraccru.
Equipment rental play Aggreko (AGK) gains 3.7% to 900p on a rebound in resources stocks. Aggreko's rental revenues have historically shown a degree of correlation with demand for temporary electricity generators from mining and oil and gas companies.
Phil Edmonds-chaired Agriterra (AGTA:AIM) sheds 0.05p or 11.1% at 0.4p as interims reveal the embattled, Africa-focused agri-minnow remained loss-making in the first half, albeit the deficit was narrowed 38% to $2.8 million.
Floor coverings and yarns distributor Airea (AIEA:AIM) drops 8.75% to 18.25p as interims reveal flat year-on-year earnings before restructuring costs and the outlook statement says competition 'is likely to remain intense'.