London's leading share index has staged an impressive rally with worries following the Slovakian parliament's rejection of the euro bailout fund giving way to hopes that the small central European state will soon ratify the deal.
SLOVAK HEADACHE, GERMAN REASSURANCE
Late Tuesday night, just 55 of the 150 MPs in Slovakia's parliament voted in favour of expanding the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), the €440bn fund which will provide financial support to struggling Eurozone nations.
"Extending the EFSF is mainly for saving foreign banks, and it will be expensive for Slovakia," said Richard Sulik, the leader of the Freedom and Solidarity party. "I'd rather be a pariah in Brussels than have to feel ashamed before my children, who would be deeper in debt should I back raising the volume of funding in the EFSF bail-out mechanism," he added.
Because Slovakia is a member of the club of 17 countries which use the euro, in theory its refusal to participate in the EFSF could mean the whole enterprise collapses. Nevertheless, the government's finance minister Ivan Miklos said, "There is an assumption that, one way or another, the EFSF will be approved by the end of the week."
Meanwhile, German chancellor Angela Merkel says she expects the EFSF to be ratified by October 23.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the European Banking Authority could impose a minimum capital buffer of 10% on the region's banks to make sure they can deal with sovereign debt write-downs. According to this morning's Times, banks could need to raise between €100bn and €275bn.
BURBERRY NOW IN FASHION
In London, miner Fresnillo is lower after cutting its full-year silver production target. Due to two fatalities in July, the gold and silver miner was forced to tighten safety conditions at the Fresnillo mine, causing a temporary slowdown in operations.
Fellow miner BHP Billiton was also lower after giving the green light for US$1.2bn to be invested in the first phase of the Olympic Dam Project to develop an open pit mine in South Australia.
British luxury brand Burberry is in fashion, even after revealing a slowdown in growth in the second quarter. Also, while wholesale revenues rose by 9% in the first half, the firm said it expects growth to fall to a mid single-digit percentage.
WPP, the FTSE 100 advertising firm, is now wanted after saying it has agreed to take a majority stake in the Chinese digital agency A4A.
UK defence contractor BAE Systems reiterated that earnings for 2011 will be broadly in line with those of 2010, but the shares are lower.
Lamprell, a provider of engineering and contracting products to the oil and gas and renewables industry, has said that it believes that its net earnings for the 2011 full year will be in line with market expectations. But the firm said it anticipates making a provision based on the cost to complete the projects amounting to $14.3m and the shares have tanked.
Turning to smaller companies, Vatukoula Gold is sparkling after saying it has discovered a new high grade ore zone at its mine in Fiji. The zone, known as Baron d'Este, is the first new discovery since the discovery of the Prince William ore zone in the 1980s.
Also in precious metals mining, Herencia Resources climbs after it announced more high grade drill assay results at Paguanta in Chile, with particularly high grades of silver.
Simulation software provider SimiGon is boosted by a multi-million dollar, five year deal to provide its technology to the mining and energy sector. The contract with training firm Check-6 will see its SIMbox virtual reality simulator used to train oil rig crews worldwide.
Another gadget group, JSJS Designs, which makes home automation systems, climbs after it received its first order from engineering giant Siemens. The £300,000 deal will see JSJS products sold under the Electrium brand in B&Q stores across the UK.
Wider losses at Ceres Power, the fuel cell technology developer, prompted a 25% tumble in the share price. Operating loss grew to £16.7m for the year to the end of June, compared to £13.2m the year before.
Sarantel, the maker of high-performance antennas for mobile phones and other devices, has won production orders for its GeoHelix GPS antenna to be used in computers used by soldiers in the battlefield.
Miniature antennas manufacturer Sarantel is considering selling its operating subsidiary in light of the group's weak balance sheet and limited financial resources, according to a company announcement issued on Monday morning. [14 Jan '13]
Sarantel Group jumped after it struck a deal to supply Leica Cameras with GPS antennas designed to give geotagging data to photographers who want to sort and display their images based on location. Sarantel said its Multifunctional Handgrip M accessory would "give photographers a reliable GPS solution in even the most challenging environments". Shares were up 8.3 per cent following the announcement despite no details of the size of the contract. [3 Oct '12]
Ambrian Capital slumped to a 52-week low after a trading update littered with references to subdued markets and downward adjustments to the book value of its investments which will cause the company to report a substantial pre-tax loss. [8 Feb '12]
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