Shares in British recruiter Staffline jump 19 percent to 83 pence after the company says its earnings for the year are likely to significantly exceed expectations, boosted by strong demand for temporary labour and acquisitions.
'The bounce is coming out of a recent weak spell,' KBC Peel Hunt analyst Henry Carver says. Shares in Staffline have been gradually falling since the end of April to close at 71 pence Thursday.
However, analysts caution that Staffline's good news may be driven by a short-lived trend.
'Ongoing economic uncertainty has resulted in contractors being preferred to permanent placements by customers. We do not expect (this) to last,' Altium says, echoing KBC's prediction that demand for temps will cool when the wider economy recovers.
Life insurer Aviva is the second biggest riser on the FTSE 100 index , up 2 percent as JPMorgan Cazenove upgrades its rating to 'overweight' from 'neutral' and hikes its target price to 509 pence from 285 pence.
JPMorgan says in a note that it welcomes Aviva's shift in financial focus from long-term aspirational goals to short-term deliverables.
'This indicates to us a significantly reduced M&A appetite which we view positively,' the broker says
JP Morgan notes that Aviva is currently yielding 7.3 percent compared to peers Legal & General and Prudential which yield 4.9 percent and 3.7 percent respectively, and says the company is taking steps to assuage the market's concern over its dividend coverage ratio.
Shares in Lamprell gain 6.2 percent, the top riser in Britain's mid-cap index, after the oil services company wins a contract to build a wind turbine installation vessel, adding to other offshore wind deals won earlier in the year.
'Lamprell's order book is showing healthy growth -- pushing it back over $700 million -- up 66 percent from the 2009 trough and a level not seen since 2007, and probably leaves scope for upgrades in 2011,' says Evolution Securities analyst Keith Morris.
The broker, which has an 'add' rating on the stock, also says that Lamprell will be less impacted than other oil services companies by the knock-on effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, given its focus on the Middle East.
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