Strong trading in Asia helped the FTSE 100 to a positive start to the week as investors await key central bank decisions in the coming days. In early trading the index of leading UK shares is up 0.5% to 7,432.84.

Contractor Babcock (BAB) is the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 as it notes new accounting standards will have no material impact on the company. The shares are up 3.4% to 684p.

Ten-pin bowling operator and Shares favourite Hollywood Bowl (BOWL) strikes a confident tone with its full year results. Revenue is up 8.8%, operating profit 54.4% and strong cash generation supports a 61.1% reduction in net debt and sees more than 7p per share paid out in special and ordinary dividends. As it reports new centres opened in the year have performed ahead of expectations the shares gain 7.9% to 205p.

Investment bank Investec (INVP) ticks up 1.7% to 469.1p as it reassures investors that it has 'immaterial exposure' to South African retail firm Steinhoff which saw its shares dive 80% last week amid accusations of fraudulent transactions. Steinhoff may be familiar to UK investors thanks to its £610m acquisition of Poundland in September 2016.

Gene and cell therapy specialist Oxford Biomedica (OXB) is up 3% to 9.3p as its partner, Swiss drug giant Novartis, announces encouraging initial results from a trial of the Kymriah therapy in the treatment of a difficult to treat cancer.


Issue Date: 11 Dec 2017