A strong mining rally ends the FTSE 100's four day slide as mining stocks put in a strong showing. After falling 2.7% last week, the blue-chips started the day 0.4% off at 6,314, before rebounding on bargain hunting. At 10.30am the Footsie is a modest five points higher at 6,345.
Miners dominate the FTSE 100 leader board today after upbeat data from China. Anglo American (AAL) heads the sector risers with a 3% advance to £13.65, with Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fresnillo (FRES) also on the up, both rising a little more than 2% to £30.32 and 767p respectively.
Premier African Minerals (PREM:AIM) jumps 13.6% to 1.25p after issuing the results of an updated economic study for its RHA tungsten project in Zimbabwe. The mine life has been extended from six to 15 years and net cash flow boosted from $120.1 million to $270.5 million.
Ongoing investor fears about global economic growth puts gold miners back in the spotlight. With the precious metal rising nearly 1% at $1,229 per ounce, gold and silver equities dominate the FTSE 350 leader board. Hochschild Mining (HOC) is up 2.6% to 119p, Randgold Resources (RRS) advances 2.2% to £42.90 and Polymetal (POLY) jumps 2% to 481p.
Engineering firm Weir (WEIR) falls 1.6% to £21.70 as Investec downgrades earnings estimates, reiterates its sell advice on the stock and slashes its price target from £24.00 to £20.25.
Industrial buyout specialist Melrose (MRO) gains 1.1% to 241.4p as it reveals the sale of its Bridon business to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for £365 million. Investec notes this is ahead of the £340 million it carried for the business in its sum-of-the-parts valuation and says the group could return 20p per share to investors.
Healthcare-focused support services specialist Synergy Health (SYR) rises 28.8% to £18.04 as US outfit Steris (STE:NYSE) makes a £19.50 a share offer for the business, valuing it at £1.2 billion.
Chocolatier Thorntons (THT) leaves a sour taste, shedding 5.6% to 93.5p on an 11.9% sales reverse for the first quarter ended 4 October. Yet the market reaction seems harsh since the decline mainly reflects previously-flagged volatile timing of supermarket orders, an important part of the company's transformation into a fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) business. Expecting a stronger second quarter, CEO Jonathan Hart insists the chocolate maker and running Play of the Week can still achieve the £9.65 million (2014:£7.5 million) full-year consensus profit estimate.
Better than expected cash generation by insurance outsourcer Quindell (QPP:AIM) in the third quarter sparks a 4.5% share price rise to 161.25p. The company unveils a £9.4 million inflow for the three months to September.
Cash-stuffed set-top box maker Amino Technologies (AMO:AIM) is on track to hit revenue targets this year but will beat £3.66million forecasts for pre-tax profit. A former Shares Play of the Week, the stock edges 1p higher to 81p. You can read our last update here.
Distribution business Essentra (ESNT) skids 11p to 731p (1.4%) as a solid looking third quarter trading update is not enough to impress jittery investors. The company posts revenue up 8% in the third quarter and 16% in the year to date at constant exchange rates. Shares flagged Essentra as vulnerable to a sell-off on 19 Sept at 824p.
Biotech BTG (BTG) falls 1.9% to 689p on selling its cancer-fighting DC Bead and Bead Block products directly across 11 European countries from April. Investors take profits following a series of negative updates.
Infection control specialist Tristel (TSTL:AIM) drops 2.6% to 72.5p despite its £1.8 million pre-tax profit beating expectations in the year to July. A cautious outlook highlights that its size could limit growth.
Renewable Energy Group (WIND) slips 0.2% to 67.25p as full year revenues fall. The company reports £11.6 million of income for the year to 30 June, compared to £13.4 million in the previous 12 months.