“The blue-chip index remained on track for its 14th successive all-time closing high with housebuilders Barratt Developments and Persimmon prominent while pharmaceutical giants Shire and AstraZeneca started to fight back after the sector was hit earlier this week by negative comments from US President-elect Donald Trump,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Iofina’s shares jumped after the iodine explorer and producer saw output return to more normalised levels resumed in late December. Production from the group’s five IOsorb plants was lower than expected in November and early December largely due to an acceleration of its partners' fracking operations. Production revenues are currently held back by low iodine prices, but the group’s chemical processing activity has traded successfully throughout the year with solid demand for its crystalline IOflo iodine and its halogen based derivatives. Iofina’s shares were up by more than 8% in lunchtime trading.
“88 Energy’s shares rose after results from its Alaskan asset 'Project Icewine' continued to exceed expectations. The group now believes the conventional oil potential at the project is nearly 1.5bn barrels and this is eclipsed by the potential of the shale discovery which will be tested by the he drilling of Icewine-2 well. 88 Energy’s shares were up by 3.2%.
“Brick-maker Forterra expects full-year operating profits to be in line with forecasts after a good end to its financial year with volumes up year-on-year in both November and December. The group is seeing good levels of activity from the major housebuilders and also from merchants as the excess brick inventory levels built up in the supply chain continued to reduce. Forterra’s shares were up by over 3%.”
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