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FTSE up on oilies, pharmas as markets look to Fed

London are firming on Tuesday, following a three-day weekend, as traders bought oil majors, pharmas and property stocks and look cautiously ahead to the US Federal Reserve's interest rate call on Wednesday.

Soon after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 41.2 points, or 0.57%, ro 7245.15, while the FTSE 250 was up 34.93, or 0.18%, to 19,650.3. Sterling was dipping against the dollar. Crude prices were mixed, and gold rose a little.

Rentokil Initial (RTO) gained 2.63% to 255.55p to lead blue chips higher. It was chased by pharma stocks including Hikma (HIK), up 1.96% to 1975p, and insurers led by Standard Life (SL.), up 1.83% to 370.55p.

BP (BP.), up 2.75% to 454.65p, has reported a good start to the year with a Q1 profit of $1.449bn, from a loss of $583m last time. The Q1 replacement cost profit was $1.412bn, from a loss of $485m. Sector pal Shell (RDSA) rose 0.99% to 2022.25p.

Several property stocks followed British Land (BLND), up 1.03% to 63.25p, while Hammerson (HMSO) added 0.85% to 592.5p and Land Securities (LAND) firmed 0.68% to 1113.5p. Some supermarkets rose, as did consumer goods and several utilities.

Gold-focused miners Randgold (RRS), down 2.02% to 6667.5p, and Fresnillo (FRES), down 1.86% to 1425p, outpaced multi-commodity metals diggers. Glencore (GLEN) shed 0.92% to 300.85p, while Antofagasta (ANTO) tapered 0.69% to 832.25p.

In the news, Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN), up 2.76% to 286.7p, said its H1 revenue rose 10.6% to £534.9m, with underlying pretax profit up 19.8% to £195.2m. Assets under management totalled £308,1bbn, from £292.8bn a year ago.

Smiths Group (SMIN), up 0.03% to 1640.5p, has completed the sale of Smiths Interconnect's Microwave Telecoms business (SMT), to Infinite Electronics Inc for an enterprise value of £85m.

BT (BT.A), up 0.2% to 305.35p, has completed the acquisition of IP Trade, a provider of unified communications and collaboration solutions for trading floor environments and command-and-control dispatch centres, following approval by the UK's Competition & Markets Authority.


Premier Veterinary Group (PVG) fell 26.78% to 176p on completing the sale of the business, trade and assets of its buying group to Animal Healthcare Services Ltd for £6.3m cash. It said trading in the UK and Europe was in line.

Capital Drilling (CAPD) rose 11% to 55.5p after it said revenue rose to $31.6m in Q1, up 13.6% from Q4 2016 and up 65.4% from Q1 2017. FY 2017 revenue guidance was lifted to $120m-$130m, from $105m-$112m.

Purecircle (PURE) fell 10.57% to 295.13p as it said rebuilding trade after the US Customs & Border Protection removed its Withhold Release Order had been slower than it had anticipated. It issued a warning on FY revenue.


Nighthawk (HAWK) lost 10% to 0.9p on news it had notified Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) that the company was not in compliance with the minimum production requirement covenant for the month of April 2017. CBA had agreed a waiver to this breach.

Ortac Resources (OTC), down 10% to 3.38p, has raised £2m gross via a placing of 66.67m new shares at 3p each to fund the acquisition of a $2m convertible loan note (CLN) issued by Casa Mining Ltd.

Sphere Medical (SPHR), up 6.12% to 6.5p, said it was very pleased with the market reaction to Proxima 4 and encouraged by the early response from customers. "We look forward to building on this through 2017," said CEO Wolfgang Rencken.

InnovaDerma (IDP), up 5.97% to 222p, has acquired the entire share capital of Ergon Medical Ltd. InnovaDerma said Ergon owned the intellectual property rights of Prolong, the world's only medical device cleared by the US FDA for premature ejaculation.

Trinity Exploration & Production (TRIN), up 4.67% to 14.13p, has materially reduced its FY pretax loss to $9.7m, from a loss of $30.9m, as it completed balance sheet restructuring and was now focused on growing its reserves and production levels.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE), down 4% to 0.12p, has issued an update on the permitting process for its proposed 3D seismic survey in the Paradox Basin, Utah. It had now amended the shoot design and resubmitted the documents to the Bureau of Land Management for review.

Access Intelligence (ACC), up 3.03% to 4.25p, said its recurring revenues from continuing operations increased 39% to £8.8m in 2016. Operating loss from continuing operations before impairments was £3m, from a loss of £1.5m.

Other stocks in the news included Just Eat (JE.), NMC Health (NMC), Range Resources (RRL), Oakley Capital Investments Ltd (OCL), Cambium Global Timberland (TREE), Bluejay Mining (JAY), Palace Capital (PCA), Civitas Social Housing (CSH), HICL Infrastructure Company (HICL), EU Supply (EUSP), Stratmin Global (STGR) and Digital Barriers (DGB).

At 8:52am:

(LON:BP.) BP PLC share price was +9.23p at 451.73p

(LON:CAPD) Capital Drilling Ltd share price was +7.5p at 57.5p

(LON:PURE) PureCircle Ltd share price was -32p at 298p

(LON:PVG) Premier Veterinary Group PLC share price was -55.38p at 185p

(LON:UKX) share price was +48.81p at 7252.75p

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