London's FTSE 100 firms 32.7 points to 7,650.4 on Monday, the blue chip benchmark higher as investors shrug off trade war scuffles and the UK’s latest political rumpus, with Prime Minister Theresa May facing another challenge to her leadership following David Davis’ resignation.
In corporate news, embattled mother and baby products purveyor Mothercare (MTC) slumps 9.1% to 26p on news it will shortly publish a prospectus in connection with a £32.5m capital raising under the refinancing and restructuring plans set out in May.
Besides the highly dilutive equity issue, Mothercare says 60 UK stores will close on completion of its CVA and the administration of its Childrens World business, while also conceding current trading ‘continues to follow the patterns seen in the second half of the last financial year, with challenging conditions in the UK and some stability visible in our International operations.'
Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY) is bid up 4.2% to 248p on the news The English Patient by Bloomsbury author Michael Ondaatje has won the prestigious Golden Man Booker Prize, crowning the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, with bulls hoping the ensuing plaudits could provide a trading boost.
CEO Nigel Newton is ‘absolutely delighted that The English Patient has received this recognition from a public vote’ and is ‘thrilled that two of our authors - Michael Ondaatje and George Saunders - were on the shortlist and most of all that Michael won.'
Software group K3 Business Technology (KBT:AIM) skips 12.5p or 6.1% higher to 217.5p after reporting a narrowed first half loss, showing a recovery in underlying profitability, while also flagging an encouraging start to the traditionally stronger second half.
Gold miner Centamin (CEY) sheds 3.2% to trade at 114p as second quarter production disappoints, down 25% to 92,803 ounces versus the same period a year ago due to low grades of the metal at its Sukari mine in Egypt, and reiterates its heavily downgraded full year production target.
Oil and gas play Cairn Energy (CNE) cheapens 2.4p to 230p after stating it will write down the value of its investment in Vedanta Resources (VED) after Indian tax authorities sold $216m worth of the company’s shares in the Indian miner.
Cardiff-based wafer firm IQE (IQE:AIM) sparks up 1.7% to 105.8p after announcing that its NanoImprint Lithography technology has been production qualified by a leading supplier of Distributed Feedback or DFB lasers into the telecoms industry. Encouragingly, the first production order for US$250,000 has been received.
Gift voucher supplier Park (PKG:AIM) improves 2.1% to 74p after inking new collaborations with retailers Arcadia, Courtesy Shoes, Office Outlet, DJM Music and Fat Face. Following these contracts, Park’s gift vouchers are now accepted by more than 175 national brands and over 20,000 high street stores across the UK.
Elsewhere Echo Energy (ECHO:AIM), the Latin America focused upstream oil and gas concern, edges 0.6% higher to 18p after announcing a good result from its CSo-2001(d) well in the Fracción D licence, which has been successfully drilled and logged and encountered a ‘notable’ gas column.