Property and tech stocks lead the FTSE 100 in a choppy early session which sees the blue chip index swing from early losses to a 0.2% gain at 6,168 on solid economic data.
Germany’s Purchasing Manager Index data, a measure of private sector business activity, comes in better than expected, registering a 54.7 print for May versus 53.6 a month earlier.
In the UK, corporate and economic news is sparse.
Royal Mail (RMG) heads blue chips higher, up 3.6% to 510p, on a broker upgrade from RBC.
Tech stocks ARM (ARM) and Sage (SGE) are among the other winners, up 2.6% to 969p and 1.4% to 599p, respectively.
Banks are also solid, with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), up 1.6% to 236p and Barclays 1% higher at 178p.
In corporate news, facilities manager Mitie (MTO) confirms soft sales and no progress on profitability, after a trading update in March triggered a double digit slump in its shares. Numbers for the 12 months to 31 March show underlying profit was flat at £128.9 million and sales declined 1.8% to £2.2 billion. Management expects ‘modest growth’ in the year ahead. Shares gain 0.5% to 275p.
3D display minnow DDD (DDD:AIM) has finally accepted the inevitable and will seek to delist from AIM at its AGM on 29 June. The one-time private investor favourite has continually struggled to get its technology meaningfully integrated into mass market devices, booking a $3.2 million loss in is last full year on piddly $706,000 revenues. Shareholders guess that it will leave them with nothing to show for their faith, and stock tanks nearly 70% to 0.48p, valuing the business at less than £900,000.
DDoS security firm Corero Network Security (CNS:AIM) rallies almost 6% to 22.75p as its announces the latest in a run of orders for its SmartWall Threat Defence System, this the first with a top 10 US mobile network operator, valued at $300,000.
A 12.3% rise in the value of Sirius Real Estate’s (SRE:AIM) net assets to €0.53 a share pushes the Germany-focused property investor 1.9% higher to 0.48p. A €3 million rise in rents to €53 million in the year to 31 March on organic and acquisitive growth helped fund a 2.22cent dividend, up from 1.61cents a year ago.
Drug developer 4D Pharma (DDDD:AIM) rises 1.1% to 840p on Phase I trials proving its irritable bowel syndrome treatment Blautix is safe. The drug now moves to the second of the three phase process it needs to pass to reach the market.
Widening losses sends wound care and orthopaedic medical device-maker Tissue Regenix (TRX:AIM) 1.4% lower to 17.5p. Clinical trial costs and building a sales infrastructure in the US saw it lose £9.5 million before tax in the year to 31 January, compared to £7.6 million a year earlier.
Investors raise a glass to premium drinks brand owner Distil (DIS:AIM), up 2.4% at 1.05p on news its RedLeg Spiced Rum has been approved for sale in the US by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. This follows approval for Distil's Blavod Black Vodka and Blackwoods Gin last year.
Smart LED lighting solutions maker PhotonStar (PSL:AIM) dims 4.35% to 2.75p on 2015 finals showing wider losses of £3.03 million (2014: £1.57 million) on sales off 4% at £6.9 million, positive progress in developing its Halcyon product range masked by margin pressure in its traditional lighting business, which was hit by significant price cutting by rivals.