UK stocks rally back into positive territory in early trade on Tuesday bouncing back as oil prices recover from lows in the previous session after a disappointing meeting between global producers in Doha. The FTSE 100 index rises around 30 points, or 0.5%, to 6,385, while midcaps put in an even greater rally, the FTSE 250 jumping 1.2% and back over the 17,000 mark at 17,087.
In corporate news, property website Zoopla (ZPLA) rises 3.4% to 386.7p as investors welcome its agreed £75 million for Property Software Group, taking another property services business under its wing.
Associated British Foods (ABF) shares rise 1.2% to 169.7p after reporting solid progress in all its business in the 24 weeks to 27 February, despite currency headwinds, with adjusted operating profit rising to £486 million.
Among the bigger movers, gaming company Webis (WEB:AIM) soars 77% to 1.28p after its principal US subsidiary, WatchandWager.com, extends its contract with the French Pari Mutuel Urbain to provide its wagering customers access to betting directly into the French horseracing pools.
Bicycle and outdoor toys manufacturer Tandem (TND:AIM) gains 6.7% to 120p on a 9.8% increase in revenue to £34.4 million in 2015, driven by its acquisition of outdoor leisure products retailer ESC and a strong performance in its sports, leisure and toys business. Revenue in the bicyles division is down 3.7% to £15.5 million and the group says the mid-tier independent bicycle market remains highly competitive.
A 54.8% rise in pre-tax profits in the year to 31 January 2016 sends Saga (SAGA), a holidays and insurance provider for the over 50s, up 2% to 202p. This was the result of a strong performance by its car insurance business where the combined ratio fell to 74% from 77.9%, which helped the board lift the dividend 75.6% to 7.2p, just as SHARES explained a few weeks ago.
Medicine redeveloper Oxford Pharmascience (OXP:AIM) climbs 5.8% to 4.6p on receiving positive advice from the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on how to get OXPzero Ibuprofen approved for sale in the UK.
Rare disease drug developer Amryt Pharma (AMYT:AIM) starts trading on AIM at 25p a share following the reverse takeover of Fastnet Equity. The company raised £10 million on admission to develop Episalvan, which seeks to treat childhood skin disorder Epidermolysis bullosa.