London’s FTSE 100 was on the front foot on Monday, the blue chip benchmark advancing 67 points higher to 7,184.2 early on, consolidating gains from Friday and building on a positive session in Asia with investors braced for a wave of monetary and fiscal stimulus.

Despite ongoing warnings about the impact of a no-deal Brexit, investors focused on President Trump’s reassurances that Washington and China are continuing to talk about trade and US trade advisor Peter Navarro’s insistence that the ‘Fed will be lowering rates’, the ECB ‘will be engaging in monetary stimulus’ and China will be ‘engaging in fiscal stimulus’.

On a quiet day for corporate news, outsourcer Mitie (MTO) was marked up 3.5% to 164.6p after selling its catering and hospitality business to CH&CO for up to £85m in a balance sheet-strengthening move that will sharpen its focus on security, cleaning and engineering services. As part of the deal, Mitie and CH&CO will enter into a strategic partnership to ensure the Gather & Gather catering offer remains exclusive to Mitie clients.

Drugs giant AstraZeneca (AZN) added 42p to trade at £72.98 on the appointment of former UBS and Syngenta man Michel Demare as a non-executive director.

Medical products specialist ConvaTec (CTEC) clipped ahead 0.9p to 183.75p on the appointment of seasoned executive John McAdam as chairman. McAdam, currently in the chair at United Utilities (UU.) and chairman of Rentokil Initial (RTO) until very recently, joins on 30 September, the same date as Karim Bitar gets started as ConvaTec’s new chief executive officer (CEO).

Safestore (SAFE) locked in a 2% gain at 634.5p on news it has formed a joint venture with Carlyle to enter the attractive Dutch self storage market via the acquisition of M3 Self Storage.

Elsewhere, Israeli networking solutions-to-medical laboratory systems specialist BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) improved 1.2% to 43.3p after confirming guidance for the full year. First half results revealed growth in EBITDA from $500,000 to $3.9m as BATM saw increased sales in key growth areas. Encouragingly, BATM said it entered the second half with a ‘substantially higher order book’.

Gambling software-as-a-service (SaaS) company GAN (GAN:AIM) gained 3.9% to trade at 66.56p on excitement generated by strong gambling growth in Pennsylvania during July.

Alternative fuels developer Quadrise Fuels International (QFI:AIM) cheapened 7.6% to 3.65p on news it is in advanced discussions with a provider of equity funding. While Quadrise expects to be able to confirm its funding plans before the end of August, should it fail to access additional funds by early October 2019, the board ‘would need to consider the viability and future of the business at that time’.

Neuroscience data analytics company Ixico (IXI:AIM) surged 23.5% higher to 42p on news it expects full year sales and earnings to be ‘materially ahead of current market expectations’ following strong revenue growth in the second half of the year.

Cancer and fibrosis-focused Redx Pharma (REDX:AIM) rose 10.8% to 10.25p after saying it has successfully completed dosing of the first cohort of patients in an ongoing cancer treatment study. A safety review committee has recommended that the dose of the treatment candidate - RXC004 – can now be escalated.

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Issue Date: 19 Aug 2019