- FTSE 100 gains 28 points
- Miners lead the push higher
- Rolls-Royce weak on summer shut-down report
8.35am: Positive early momentum
The FTSE 100 made a solid if unspectacular start to the new trading week on Monday.
In early trading, the UK blue-chip index was up 28 points to 6,517.77.
The momentum was gently upward, propelled by hopes of an economic rebound on the back of the coronavirus vaccine roll-out that would be greatly enhanced by the giant US stimulus programme now in the pipeline.
Janet Yellen, the US treasury secretary, claimed the US economy could return to full employment next year if President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package is passed.
“At the back end of last week, the Biden administration put in motion a plan to get the stimulus package signed off without support from Republican lawmakers,” said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.
“President Biden has a history of fostering good relations with politicians from across the aisle as well as seeking consensus on issues but this time he is determined to put the American people first. The stimulus move also helped US equities notch up a record close.”
Closer to home, the miners were well bid on the back of an improving economic outlook. Anglo American (), up 3.3%, led the Footsie, while BHP (), edged 2.1% higher.
Off 1.9% in the early exchanges was Rolls Royce () following a weekend report that it is ready to put jet engine staff on a summer hiatus as part of a cost-saving exercise.
“With the company being paid on hours flown by the airlines, there could be further pressure on a share price which has dived 60% over the last year,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.
Proactive news headlines:
() told investors that the WR-38Z and WR-16aZ wells at the West Rustavi field have been brought back online safely, with oil and gas now flowing into the field’s Early Production Facility (EPF).
() clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck KGaA, and Inc. As part of the tie-up, 4D pharma will start a clinical trial this year BAVENCIO, a drug for advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma developed by Merck and , in combination with 4D’s MRx0518.
(LON:AGL; ) said its liquid biopsy was integral to a study assessing the progression non-small cell lung (NSCL) cancer and understanding why the disease may become resistant to a particular line of treatment.
() has confirmed expectations from a November update that its earnings will more than double in 2020. In a brief trading update for the year to December 31, the conference call and remote meeting technology specialist said earnings (EBITDA) are expected to be around £15.3mln, up from £6.4mln in 2019, while revenues are forecast to rise to around £50.2mln from £42.5mln.
Learning Technologies Group PLC () said it has acquired PDT Global, a UK-based provider online of diversity & inclusion (D&I) training solutions, for an initial cash sum of £13.2mln.
Pan African Resources () has advised shareholders of that it expects headline earnings per share to be between US$0.0205 and US$0.0217 when it reports its interim results for the period to end December on 16 February 2021. The increases earnings and headline earnings that the company is expecting to report come as a result of a boost to gold revenues to US$183.8mln, up from US$132mln in 2019. The average gold price received increased by 27.4% to US$1,865 per ounce, as the company sold more gold overall.
Seeing Machines Limited () said its driver monitoring system (DMS) software, a key enabler to the General Motors Super Cruise driver assistance feature, is now available in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.
() has released drill results from definition and step-out drilling at the Minto mine conducted during 2019 and 2020. Drilling was conducted on the Minto North II, Copper Keel South, Copper Keel West, and Copper Keel North areas. Highlights included 38.9 metres grading 1.66% copper and 0.51grams per tonne gold, 15.75 metres grading 1.44% copper and 0.35 grams per tonne, and 21.6 metres grading 1.16% copper and 0.64 grams.
()() said a softer market for coal has resulted in a lower portfolio contribution, although the drop is also set against the context of a record year in 2019. The 2020 portfolio contribution rebounded strongly in the final quarter as commodity markets started to recover, particularly iron ore and copper which rallied during the second half of 2020 and coking coal prices which continue to recover in 2021, currently trading at around US$156 per tonne.
(), the commercial passenger aircraft leasing company said it has entered into a new lease for an ATR72-600 for delivery from the factory in Toulouse. Delivery to an existing Asian client airline is expected to occur on or around the 10 March 2021. The lease is for eight years and is at current market rates. The aircraft was previously purchased into inventory in December 2019. In a statement, Jeff Chatfield, executive chairman of Avation, said: “We anticipate that on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that regional travel will improve extremely rapidly, and that ATR aircraft represents the ideal solution for short duration sub 100 seat routes”.
(LON:AUZ) the AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe, has announced the publication of its circular to shareholders concerning the proposed reduction of share capital via a cancellation of the company’s share premium account, the cancellation of the deferred shares and the authority for the company to buy back shares. Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: “This timely circular is being distributed in advance of the completion of our new Joint Venture with Ozaltin and Proccea. The proposed General Meeting concerns a capital reorganisation which will enable the Company to pay a special dividend. Since receiving shareholder ratification of the joint venture agreements signed at the end of last year and the approval received from the Competition Authority in Turkey last month, we are expecting to conclude all remaining formal corporate procedures in the near future. We are continuing to advance rapidly on all fronts and we look forward to keeping the market updated on our progress.”
(), the precious and base metals exploration and development company, announced that its new chief executive officer, Shaun Day, has commenced his role at the company. As announced on December 15, 2020, Day succeeds Gervaise Heddle, who will remain on the board and part of the Greatland executive team until March 12, 2021, to ensure a smooth transition. In a statement, Day commented: “I join Greatland at a very exciting time for the business and with a strong platform in place to drive further growth. Greatland will continue to progress its core strategy – advancing Havieron while pursuing value from our other exploration targets with tier-one potential. Beyond this, I intend to apply my experience from growing major mining companies to oversee the development of Havieron and to scale-up the wider business.”
() has highlighted a strong performance for 2020 despite the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a trading update for the year to December 31, the regenerative medical devices specialist said revenues for the year will be £12.8mln, in line with the prior-year figure of £13mln despite the impact of the pandemic, adding that it also ended the period with a “strong cash position” of £9.5mln following a fundraising in June.
() told investors that the Perseverance-1 exploration well, offshore Bahamas, encountered hydrocarbons but commercial volumes were not discovered.
() (CSE:XOP), an international oil and gas exploration and development company announced that it has repaid in cash the balance of the loan from Riverfort Global Opportunities PCC and YA II PN, Ltd announced on June 15, 2020. The remaining balance of £400,000 was repaid in cash on February 5, 2020 without penalty. As such, the company has met all of the terms and conditions of the lenders under the loan agreement. In a statement, Arthur Millholland, COPL’s president and CEO, commented: “We would like to thank Riverfort and Yorkville for providing the loan in June of last year which was strategic to the restructuring of the Company. It has allowed us to proceed to where we are today nearing the completion of the Atomic acquisition.”
. () () has announced that, further to its announcement on December 21, 2020, it has issued 325,000 shares in the company to Bacchus Capital Advisors Limited in connection with the financial advisory services provided for the period from December 18, 2020 to January 31, 2021. The shares were issued at a deemed price of C$0.27 per share. Mkango said it will issue a further 625,000 shares on December 18, 2021, should its engagement continue with Bacchus continue until such date. The company added that it continues to work closely with Bacchus, whose mandate encompasses mergers and acquisitions, takeover defence, strategic and other financial advice.
CentralNic Group PLC (), the global internet platform that derives revenue from the subscription sales of domain names and web services, has announced that its bondholder meeting held on January 29, 2021, approved the amendment to the bond terms disclosed in its announcement of January 15, 2021. As a result, Pareto Securities has been mandated to arrange a series of fixed income institutional investor meetings starting the week commencing Monday February 8, 2021, to issue a tranche of bonds with a volume of approximately 15mln euros (US$8mlm). The group said any debt raised will be used for consideration for the acquisition of near-term identified targets.
PLC (), the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said on Friday that it has received notices to exercise warrants over 8,860,758 new ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each. It said 3,597,600 warrants are being exercised at a price of 1.0p per ordinary share and 5,263,158 warrants at an exercise price of 0.75p per ordinary share. Subscription monies of £75,450 have been received by Power Metal in respect of these exercises.
() , the AIM-quoted exploration company focussed on West Africa said that following an exercise of warrants and options over ordinary shares in the company it is issuing 19,188,315 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company, The group noted that 19,138,315 warrants were exercised at 0.68p each and 50,000 options at 0.37 each.
(), a minerals exploration and development company, has announced that it will be attending the Mexico Mining Forum from February 10-11, 2021. The digital forum will include a program of networking and informational events that will allow Alien to engage with a vital audience in one if its main countries of operation. Alien currently holds the Donovan 2 copper and gold project and the San Celso and Los Campos silver projects in Zacatecas state, Mexico. The forum typically takes place in Mexico City but will be entirely online for this year’s edition, with thousands of e-business meetings that will bring together industry experts in an effective and targeted networking platform. Bill Brodie Good, CEO & Technical Director of Alien Metals, commented: “Alien’s attendance at the Mexico Mining Forum will be an excellent opportunity for us to directly engage with key stakeholders and investors in the country. We are very excited to be involved and look forward to meeting other attendees from the mining community to both showcase our exciting projects and also to discuss potential further opportunities for Alien in line with our strategy.” Details of the conference can be found at: https://mexicobusinessevents.com/mining/2021
Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX), the drug discovery and development company focused on oncology and fibrosis, announced on Friday that its annual general meeting will be held at 11.00am on March 2, 2021, at Block 33, Mereside, Alderley Park, Macclesfield SK10 4TG. In light of the Stay-at-Home Measures which prohibit all non-essential travel and larger public gatherings and to ensure the safety of the limited number of people whose attendance at the meeting is essential, shareholders will not be allowed into the AGM. Accordingly, shareholders may submit questions related to the business of the AGM to the directors in advance of the meeting. by 5.30pm on February 25, 2021, to Andrew Booth, Redx’s company secretary, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following the AGM, the group said its board will respond to any questions submitted by shareholders in advance of the meeting and the answers will be posted on the investor FAQs section of the company website. Shareholders are strongly encouraged to vote by proxy, appointing the chairman of the meeting, using the card distributed with the notice of meeting, to ensure their vote counts. The proxy is also available in the investor resources section of the company’s website: www.redxpharma.com
6.50am: Monday mood positive
The FTSE 100 looks set to open firmly in positive territory on Monday amid hopes of a global economic recovery and renewed optimism over US economic stimulus plans.
The spread betting firms are calling the UK blue-chip index to open 35.5 points higher at 6,524.55.
The UK’s top shares index will take its cue from Asia’s main markets, which were buoyed by the growing pace of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine roll-out allied to falling rates of infection. Here in the UK case numbers have dropped by 25% in a week, while deaths were down by a third at 373, Sunday’s official tally revealed.
The headlines were grabbed by the Oxford/ jab’s seeming inability to protect against the South African mutation of the disease. But even this was given a positive spin with the Anglo-Swedish drug giant seeking to develop a booster by autumn.
is among a raft of companies reporting this week. The roster also includes travel firm TUI (), online grocer Ocado () and Royal Mail (). In the US, there are quarterlies from Coca Cola, Disney and Uber.
The health of the UK economy will be assessed when monthly GDP figures are released on Friday. Before that, we will receive data from the British Retail Consortium and RICS housing statistics.
Across the Atlantic, where President Biden is making preparations for a further economic bail-out, inflation will be in the spotlight on Wednesday in addition to the weekly jobless claims on Thursday and a smattering of consumer sentiment data on Friday.
China begins its new year-Golden Week holiday on February 11 as does Korea while Taiwan starts a day earlier on Wednesday, and most other big economies in the region will be out on Friday.
“The holiday lull is expected to drain the liquidity from the markets, making it a relatively quiet week for market watchers,” said ING.
On the markets:
- Pound US$1.3732 (flat)
- Bitcoin US$38,968.12 (up 1.1%)
- Gold US$1,813.70 (+0.04%)
- Brent crude US$59.85 (+0.51%)
6.45am: Early Markets – Asia / Australia
Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly higher on Monday as China’s State Administration for Market Regulation released new anti-monopoly guidelines that target internet platforms.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.26% while the Shanghai Composite in China rose 1.02%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.12% but South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.79%.
Shares in Australia surged to an11-month high, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing 0.59% higher.
Proactive Australia news:
() () is trading higher on receiving strong assays of up to 186 g/t gold from the first 11 drill holes completed as part of phase-I drilling on the Elizabeth sector of Blackdome Elizabeth Gold Project in Canada.
() (FRA:RNF) has received broad high-grade assays from the final seven holes of the maiden 2020 exploration program at Palm Springs Gold Project in Western Australia with mineralisation extended over 360 metres along strike to the southwest of Butchers Creek open-pit.
() (FRA:4SF) has intersected extensive zones of shallow gold mineralisation in wide-spaced aircore drilling at its North Kanowna Star Project (NKS), 29 kilometres southeast of the proposed mill and infrastructure of the Bardoc Gold Project, in Western Australia.
() () (FRA:1X8) has brought the marketing and sales function of cannaQIX® inhouse, taking over from its commercial partner Doetsch Grether in Switzerland, following a growing trend of direct inbound sales enquiries and interest in the product.
() (FRA:M6N) has become a gold producer after it successfully recommissioned the Davyhurst Gold Process Plant, together with its associated site infrastructure, with the first gold poured on Sunday, February 7, 2021.
() (OTCMKTS:EEYMF) (FRA:N9F) says ‘Morila the Gorilla is back’ with a new mineral resource estimate of 42.6 million tonnes at 1.6 g/t gold for 2.2 million contained ounces, up from 1.2 g/t gold for 1.3 million ounces.
() has received better than expected ionic leach soil sample assays further highlighting the large, top-ranked Apollo and Atlas targets within the wider Paterson Central Project in Western Australia, north of the Havieron gold-copper discovery.
() has entered into a binding term sheet for a farm-in and joint venture agreement with Scorpion Minerals Ltd (ASX:SCN) for two tenements E20/953 and E20/948, totalling 384 square kilometres, adjacent and contiguous to Fenix’s recently commissioned Iron Ridge Project.
() (FRA:8EE) has delivered further high-grade cobalt, nickel, copper and silver result from a recent grab sampling program at the Punta Corna Project in northern Italy.