Stocks came firmly off their earlier highs, with worries over the French banking system continuing to cause jitters, but a strong performance from the mining sector helps to keep the FTSE 100 in the blue.
Miners are rallying strongly, led higher by Kazakh copper miner Kazakhmys, but French banking fears seem to have spread across the channel, with Lloyds Banking Group and RBS the only fallers in the FTSE 100.
Company news is also driving miners higher. Aquarius Platinum shines after it pulled out of its August swoon after full-year results pleased the market. South Africa-focused Aquarius points out it has increased headline earnings to $142.8m, a significant increase on the $23.6m figure for 2010.
Also in resources, coal-focused Anglo Pacific is fired higher after it notched up a record level of royalty income in the first half of 2011, despite adverse weather conditions in Australia. The global natural resources royalties company said royalty income in the first half of the year rose to £16.4m from £15.7m in the first half of last year. Second quarter royalty income was lower year-on-year, however, at £6.5m compared to £11.1m in the second quarter of 2010.
Investors have an appetite for Premier Foods following heavy falls lately. The man tasked with turning around the company's fortunes will begin work two weeks early. The manufacturer of household brands such as Hovis Bread, Branston Pickle and Sharwoods announced in July that Mike Clarke would take over from the current chief executive Robert Schofield.
Morgan Sindall, the construction and regeneration group, has secured a major regeneration scheme contract in Chester city centre, with a total development value of approximately £115m.
Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury said book sales in July and August picked up from soft trading earlier in the year, with many bookworms opting to download their summer reading rather than opting for paper copies. The release of the latest Harry Potter film has stoked demand for all seven books in the series, Bloomsbury said.
Defence products group Cobham has been awarded a four year contract for the provision of a flight inspection service to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Mobile computing services company Psion said supply issues hurt first half revenue but it remains confident that recent traction with new products positions the company well for the second half and beyond. Revenue fell to £81.4m for the first half-year to 30 June from £84.7m in 2010. The group posted an operating loss of £5.2m during the period compared to a profit of £4.8m previously.
Corac, the maker of compressors used for natural gas extraction and plastic bottle blowing, is down even after it saw losses narrow in the half year to 30 June as it received more technology development fees from partners. Pre-tax losses totalled £2.35m, against a deficit of £2.76m the previous year, on revenues that rose to £185,000 from £46,000.
Software firm Innovation today confirmed that it has signed a major contract with RBS Insurance. The group, which provides software and outsourcing solutions to insurers, said the contract, which starts with immediate effect until 31 December 2014, will see it handle all of RBSI's newly notified subsidence claims, in addition to managing the completion of around 70% of existing open subsidence claims.
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open up seven points from yesterday's close of 6,593, and as such largely ignoring declines seen in the US last night ahead of today's balance of trade reading. [10 May '13]
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
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