London shares rise the fourth day straight on Friday as huge gains on Wall Street overnight provide a boost to confidence. The Dow Jones index chalked-up its biggest one-day gain in three years, ending 2.4%, or 421 points higher at 17,778.15. The UK's blue-chip FTSE 100 index echoes that upbeat sentiment on Friday, up 0.7%, or 45 points, to 6,511 in early deals and has now risen by over 5% since Tuesday.
Consumer goods giant Unilever (ULVR) adds 9p at £26.37. There's positive sentiment towards the household products giant after its US division withdraws a lawsuit against Hampton Creek over false advertising and unfair competition regarding the food start-up's Just Mayo product, which has been harming sales of Hellman's mayonnaise.
British American Tobacco (BATS) slips 16p to £34.34 after revealing it is to pay out $575 million to settle a legacy litigation case with a company involved in the production and sale of asbestos-containing products in the 1980s. The agreement 'brings this long running litigation to an end,' the company says.
Support services group Serco (SRP) slumps 4.6% to 158.2p despite news that police have ended their investigation into its contract to move prisoners from custody to courts without bringing charges against the company.
Oil service stock Petrofac (PFC) again heads the Footsie loser board, off 2.8% at 702p, as crude price falls weigh on sentiment. The mood is not helped by controversial comments from Premier Oil (PMO) director Robin Allan, who said on Thursday that the North Sea oil industry was 'close to collapse' and that it’s 'almost impossible to make money at these oil prices.'
Following on from larger rival Carpetright's (CPR) upbeat interims earlier this week, United Carpets (UCG:AIM) weaves a 4.6% gain to 8.63p as better-than-expected half-time figures stoke profit upgrades. Underlying pre-tax profits powered 32% ahead to £510,000 in the half, like-for-like sales are positive and United Carpets could reinstate the dividend at the end of the year. Shares highlighted the micro cap retailer's recovery attractions in April.
Fitbug (FITB:AIM) has won another raft of major retail deals, sending shares at the wearable fitness technology company surging 43% higher to 10p.
IT security specialist, and running Shares Play of the Week at 20p, Accumuli (ACM:AIM) breaks into the penetration testing market with the £8.9 million acquisition of RandomStorm. That should provide a neat fit and bolster the company's portfolio of cyber defence products, a move welcomed by investors who chase the shares 4.6% higher to 25.5p.
Delayed contracts mean another profit warning from learning kit designer Promethean World (PRW:AIM). The company says revenues of between £118 million and £120 million are likely, below the £126.1 million anticipated previously by analysts at Investec. Surprisingly the shares have yet to react, flat at 23.12p, but that could change as the market picks up on the news.
Restaurant group Fulham Shore (FUL:AIM) adds 2.9% to 17.8p after it swings into a profit of £59,000 for the six months to 28 September, up from a loss of £74,000 the previous year. The Franco Manca owner, which acquired The Real Greek chain on 20 October, says a new Real Greek restaurant will open in spring and several other sites are under consideration.
Russia-focused real estate company Mirland Development (MLD) slides 14.3% to 77.5p as the rouble continues to fall, making it hard to assess rent income prospects.
Estate agency and surveyor LSL Property Services (LSL) drops 4.3% to 279.2p as it is forced to cough up an extra £12 million for professional indemnity insurance covering valuations it made before 2008’s property crash.