London shares are mildly weaker in early trade on Friday, pulling back from Thursday’s all-time closing high of 6,961.14. The FTSE 100 index nudges 11 points lower, about 1.7%, to 6,948, as investors take stock after a busy week of corporate and economic news. Midcaps buck the drifting trend, the FTSE 250 edging close on 33 points higher to 17,343 aided by strong rallies in selected stocks.
Heading the Footsie leader board is British engineering giant Weir (WEIR), jumping nearly 6% to £18.41, on the back of market chatter that a cash-rich private equity consortium in the US is looking to table a £25.00 per share break-up offer for the group.
Fast-track power provider APR Energy (APR) opens 18% lower at 330p as its management team flags it will write-off cash payments expected from Libyan authorities for contracts in the country. It will also take non-cash charges against goodwill related to acquisitions.
Travel group Thomas Cook (TCG) jumps 21% to 146.5p as it agrees a strategic partnership with Hong Kong's Fosun International (0656:HK) to build international cooperation across a number of business areas. The hope is that this will bolster the UK company's existing growth potential, but is also inspiring takeover talk.
Portable accommodation provider Snoozebox (ZZZ:AIM) surges 16.7% to 7.9p on news Ealing Council has chosen it to tackle its 'interim and immediate' social housing solution in partnership with Mears (MER). It has also been granted planning permission for an 80 bedroom modular accommodation solution in Aberdeen.
Retailer DFS Furniture (DFS) makes itself comfy as conditional dealings begin. The upholstered furniture giant rises to 258.25p having set its offer price at 255p, towards the low end of the indicated 245p-310p range, for a starting market cap of £543.2 million.
3D technology minnow DDD (DDD:AIM) expects to soon agree a deal to ease its cash flow problems. It is apparently close to securing £350,000 of convertible unsecured loan notes and an additional equity placing of up to 28.5 million new shares at 2p each. The shares crash 17% to 1.55p, unsurprinsing given the hefty discounted fund raise.
Franchised motor retailer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB:AIM), a running Shares Play of the Week, speeds 5.3% higher to 55p on a positive half-year pre-close update. Trading in the first five months of the financial year is in line with upgraded expectations, with Cambria's new car sales outperforming the market and the March order book building well.
Drug delivery specialist Midatech Pharma (MTPH:AIM) rises 3.3% to 310p on agreeing a research collaboration with an un-named pharmaceutical to test the pre-clinical effectiveness of its gold-nanoparticle and PharmaFilm technologies. More details on these technologies features in this week’s edition of Shares.
AIM-quoted oil & gas play San Leon Energy (SLE:AIM) slumps 3.9% to 1.49p despite announcing positive results from a flow test of its Rawicz-12 well in Poland. Northland Capital comments: 'The well is being flagged as a significant Polish success and headline rates of 5.3 million cubic feet per day (mmcfpd) with a steady 24 hour rate of 4.5 mmcfpd certainly look commercial.'
Marketer and distributor DCC (DCC) trades 2.7% higher at £39.56.after a positive write-up by analysts at investment bank Berenberg. Initiating coverage, Berenberg rates the stock a 'buy' and estimates it is worth £47.80.