The UK stock market was trading at a one-month high on Friday following more record highs on Wall Street overnight, boosted by upbeat US economic data and hopes for more monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank (ECB).
The FTSE 100 index rises 0.7% to 6,595 in early trading, after rising to 6,551.15 on Thursday, it's highest close since 6 October.
Mining heavyweights, led by Fresnillo's (FRES) 3.2% rise to 722p, help prop-up the blue-chip's, with Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Billiton (BLT) and Anglo American (AAL) all following suit thanks to a rebound in commodity prices after a spell of weakness.
Canary Wharf-owner Songbird Estates (SBD) slips 0.7% to 317.6p as it rejects a 295p takeover offer. Management says the deal, made Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and commercial real estate play Brookfield Property Partners, 'significantly undervalues' the group.
Airline conglomerate International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) also advances after pledging a return of dividends in 2015. The British Airways-owner remains confident of hitting targets for the year as traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, increases 7.5% year-on-year in October.
Car and home insurer Admiral (ADM) dives 3.8% into the red to £21.11 as competition hits pricing in the third quarter, and shows no sign of abating. That's hitting profits at its price-comparison website Confused.com, and across the group, in the second half. Industry peer RSA (RSA) also falls, ts 2.4% decline to 449p heading the Footsie faller board, as broker CanaccordGenuity slaps a 'Sell' recommendation on the stock
The UK's electricity and gas network operator National Grid (NG.) reassures that the lights will stay on across Britain this winter and promises a strong returns and dividend growth this year after a solid first half. The group posted adjusted pre-tax profit totalled £1.14 billion in the six months to 30 September, up from £980 million the year before. Largely anticipated by the market, the shares remain largely flat 920p.
A raft of brokers reiterate bullish calls on credit checker Experian (EXPN) following yesterday’s reassuring half-year update. Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Cazenove and Liberum all restated buy or overweight calls with price targets ranging from £11.50 to £13.47. The shares trade 2.6% higher this morning at £10.30.
Machine-to-machine technology supplier Telit Communications (TCM:AIM) makes a strong start to Friday trading after Canadian peer Sierra Wireless (SW:TO) jumped 25% over night after the company's third quarter results and forward guidance both significantly exceeded expectations. Investors see this as good news for running Shares Play of the Week Telit, lifting the stock 4.8% to 242.5p.
Engineer Spirax-Sarco (SPX) warns of a slowdown in global industrial production, particularly in China. The Cheltenham-based business says it is still expects to outperform its markets and its order book is strong. Spirax shares trade flat at £28.77.
Online personal health minnow Fitbug (FITB:AIM) flies another 21.8% higher to 5.48p. The play on the hot wearable technology theme has launches digital health coaching platform KiQplan, to be sold in Target (TGT:NYSE) stores across the US.
High-end tonic water-to-ginger ale supplier Fevertree Drinks (FEVR:AIM) fizzes 27% higher to 170p in debut AIM dealings. The IPO raised £93.3 million at 134p, although just £4 million of that is being retained by the company, the rest paying-off selling shareholders.