UK shares rally as latest economic growth data in China fuels hopes of further stimulus measures. That triggers a relief rally in mining stocks. Growth in China’s fourth quarter GDP fell to 6.8% from 6.9% in the previous three months, and below analyst forecasts. Chinese officials continue to target 7% growth.
Online supermarket Ocado (OCDO) sparks up 10.1% to 267.1p on a jackanory doing the rounds that US tech titan Amazon (AMZN:NDQ) may be about to launch a bid, as part of its ambitions to launch a fully-fledged UK grocery delivery service. For more on the trials and tribulations facing the British supermarkets and the threat posed to Ocado and other grocers from the recently-launched Amazon Pantry service, read our cover story here.
Investors in upholstered furniture-to-floorings seller ScS (SCS) are sitting pretty, the shares surging 20% higher to 183p on news annual profits will weigh in significantly ahead of market expectations, strong trading having continued over Christmas and the January sales.
Magnum ice cream-to-Dove body wash supplier Unilever (ULVR) takes on 40.25p at £28.83 as robust full-year results show growth ahead of the group's markets and better-than-expected fourth quarter organic sales growth of 4.9%. CEO Paul Polman guides towards tougher markets and higher volatility in 2016, though his charge, a running Play of the Week, will prioritise growing ahead of the market and improving operating margins and strong cash flow.
News that pre-tax profits at transplantation device-maker Lifeline Scientific (LSIC:AIM) will be ‘materially’ ahead of expectations in 2015 sends the shares 8% higher to 200.7p. Second half demand was high on the back of positive clinical evidence of its products effectiveness.
Tuesday’s biggest faller in early trading is Quantum Pharma (QP.:AIM), which dives 17.1% to 60.5p after issuing a profit warning. Delays in the drug developer and manufacturer’s pipeline means that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) will, at £12.7 million, miss expectations in the year to 31 January 2016.
Newspaper publisher Johnston Press (JPR) gains 9.9% to 39.2p as it says full year earnings will hit expectations despite declining revenues and says it will sell brands which are not part of its long-term future.
Online retailer MySale (MYSL:AIM) is marked up 4.1% to 44.75p on a pre-close trading statement, highlighting a good first half and strong momentum carrying into the second half, with the South East Asian business on a growth tear.