After a wobbly few sessions, the FTSE 100 tried its best to end the week on a positive note. In early trading, the benchmark index was up 0.4% at 6,330. Sadly these gains had disappeared by midday. Notably stronger was the FTSE 250 index, rising 1.2% to 13,834.
On the corporate news front, very few stocks had new information to report with just a sprinkling of results and updates from the lower end of the market.
Leading the charge was Land Securities (LAND), up 2.4% to 909.5p on reports that it has put two large buildings on London's South Bank up for sale with a mooted price tag of £312 million. The properties are currently let to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
The tech space has managed to outperform the broader market with UK chips designers blazing ahead, led by Imagination Technologies (IMG), up nearly 6% to 308p. ARM Holdings (ARM), Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) and CSR (CSR) also rallied.
Intellectual commercialisation play IP (IPO) dipped 1.1% to 139p on news that chief operating officer Alison Fielding is standing down from the board for health reasons. She will remain employed on a part-time basis.
After nearly trebling in price in the past 12 months, Retroscreen Virology (RVG:AIM) has retreated 15.2% to 237.5p on plans to raise £25.5 million at 200p. The problem lies with the discount on the share price – a whopping 28.6% lower than yesterday's middle price of 280p.
Fund manager Polar Capital (POLR) rose 2.1% to 388p, further extending the company’s strong run despite the sell-off in global markets with assets under management ending May at $8.8 billion, up on the 31 March year end’s $7.2 billion.
Latin American explorer Gold Oil (GOO:AIM) fell 0.65% to 1.54p after 2012 results revealed a £9.5 million loss. House broker Cantor Fitzgerald, which has a 'buy' rating and a 3.9p price target, says current levels represent a 'good entry point'.
Marmite insurance claims outsourcer Quindell Portfolio (QPP:AIM) jumped 3.5% to 8.55p after spelling out details of a series of investor education events over the summer. It also flags its ambition to leap from Aim to the main list later this year, while founder and chief executive Rob Terry has switched to executive chairman, with two divisional CEOs reporting to him in future.
Support services minnow Ensor (ESR:AIM) jumped 12.8% to 53p on bullish full-year results. It has raised the dividend by 52% and reported a 66% rise in operating profit to £2.4 million.