UK stock markets stage a sort of recovery in early trade Friday as investors go bargain hunting again following yesterday's volatile day of trading that saw the FTSE 100 hit an intra-day low of 6,072.68, a level not seen since June 2013. The benchmark Footise rallies 61 points to 6,256, with oil stocks doing much of the early running as Brent crude prices bounce off a four-year lows.
Oil and gas group Tullow Oil (TLW) heads the Footsie leaderboard early on Friday, rallying 5% to 508p, with giants BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RSDB) also moving modestly higher, to 424p and £22.095 respectively.
Oilfield services group Petrofac (PFC) is also in positive territory after saying it is on track to hit profit targets this year, as its backlog improved over the third quarter and net debt was cut. The trading update encouraged investors to chase the shares 3.8% higher to £10.25.
But there's plenty of gloom too, with engineering group Rolls-Royce (RR.) doing its best to drag on early market progress. The power systems giant sees its shares slump 9% to 855.5p, leading the blue-chip fallers, after saying it now expects underlying sales to fall between 3.5% and 4% this year as trading conditions get increasingly tough. This compares to its previous forecast for flat revenues, while Rolls is no longer sure about progress into 2015 either.
Falling price inflation in its plumbing, heating and DIY store Wickes sends shares in builder’s merchant Travis Perkins (TPK) 16p lower to £16.22. The £4 billion UK building merchant reports like-for-like sales continuing to slow in the third quarter and it sees 'very challenging' plumbing and heating market thanks to mild autumn weather.
Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo's (CHOO) IPO is priced at the bottom of its expected range as the recent market sell-off cools new issues appetite. The 140p a share flotation will give the shoemaker a £545.6 million market value, right at the foot of the initial 140p-180p range, which was lowered to 140p-160p earlier this week. That the IPO got off the ground at all may be seen as a minor victory given the recent negative hits taken by global luxury goods brands Burberry (BRBY) and Mulberry (MUL:AIM).
Interactive gambling group NetPlay TV (NPT:AIM) slumps 29.1% to 7p after issuing a profit warning. The small cap has failed to attract the expected number of customers as there's a marketing war in the gambling industry at present. Platform operators are throwing money at advertising in a bid to increase market share ahead of an imminent change in tax rates which could force the smaller players out of the sector.
Mineral sands producer Kenmare Resources (KMR) advances 4.1% to 7.04p after confirming that it is still in takeover talks with Iluka Resources (ILU:ASX), the latter having made two approaches in June.
Cancer diagnostic-maker Angle (AGL:AIM) improves 3.7% to 83p on positive feedback from three of its research partners on its Parsoritx system. The device will now be used in a collaboration agreement with Barts Cancer Institute in London.
Performance chemicals and advanced materials specialist Graphene Nanochem (GRPH:AIM) jumps 4.9% to 51p as it signing-off on a joint venture. The JV with Sync R&D will aim to to develop a 'next generation' graphene-enhanced lithium-ion battery for electric buses.