London’s blue-chips begin the session trading 2.2 points lower at 7,311.3, the markets having little to process besides last night’s tax announcement from President Donald Trump.

Budget airline Ryanair (RYA) weakens 1.4% to €16.88, the share price holding up surprisingly well given the raft of flight cancellations and schedule changes that have enraged customers and caused the Michael O’Leary-led carrier severe reputational damage.

Online spread betting-to-currency trading platform CMC Markets (CMCX) is marked up 5.3% to 163.25p on news profitability in the first half of 2018 is ‘significantly higher’ year-on-year thanks to increased client volumes.

Diamond producer Petra Diamonds (PDL) perks up 9.5% to 78p after receiving authorisation from the Tanzanian government to resume diamond exports and sales from the Williamson mine, 75%-owned by Petra with the government owning the other quarter.

Investors have an appetite for SSP (SSPG), the transport hub food operator improving 3.8% to 519.5p on a positive fourth quarter trading update flagging 3% like-for-like sales growth boosted by increased air passenger numbers.

Cigarettes titan Imperial Brands (IMB) cheapens 2.7% to £32.18, despite confirming it remains on track to meet full year earnings expectations, as it flags a ‘particularly challenging industry environment’.

Plastic packaging maker RPC (RPC) improves 3p to 943p on news a combination of organic growth and the successful integration of recent acquisitions will see half year profits exceed expectations.

Technology commercialisation company Allied Minds (ALM) improves 3.6% to 145p as its SciFluor subsidiary announces positive trial results for its SF0166 eye drop treatment for patients with sight loss-inducing diabetic macular edema (DME).

Global technology recruiter Harvey Nash (HVN:AIM) gathers up 1.9p to trade at 90p on encouraging half year figures. CEO Albert Ellis reports revenue growth in a challenging UK market, record profits in the Benelux region and improved performances in the Nordics and Asia Pacific.

Embattled logistics group DX (DX.:AIM) leaps 46% (3.3p) higher to 10.5p after clinching a major new contract with IKEA. The deal is a much-needed fillip for DX which has seen its shares hit following a recent warning that an accounting error would knock around £1.8m off of full year profits.

Directa Plus (DCTA:AIM) sparks up 2.8% to 55.5p on well-received half year results and a new contract to supply Italian workwear maker Alfredo Grassi with its graphene-based products.

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Issue Date: 28 Sep 2017