Hays, Independent Oil & Gas and Character

“Blue-chips edged lower with traders looking to a raft of US data later today, including retail sales and consumer inflation figures. Industrial production, business inventories and capacity utilisation will also be in focus,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.

“Recruitment group Hays saw continued growth in its fourth quarter with like-for-like net fees up by 7% in the three months to the end of June. This was the group’s 17th consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth and it is set to post operating profits marginally ahead of market forecasts of £209.5m. The group’s International businesses continue to be the key drivers of growth while underlying trends in the UK remain stable, with modest improvements in the private sector offset by a tough public sector market.

Independent Oil and Gas’s shares were up in early trading after it was awarded a new North Sea licence which included part of the western part of Vulcan North West discovery. This will be a key part of the group’s Vulcan Hub development project. The licence, which also includes the Hogsback, Hobson and Goacher prospects, secures and adds further resources to IOG’s dual gas hub strategy. IOG’s shares were up by 6.8%.

“Toy group Character’s shares rose after its master licence for Teletubbies was renewed for three years. The Teletubbies product range was first re-launched in January 2016 and was the number one best-selling new toy property in the UK that year. Character’s shares were up by more than 1.5% in early trading.”

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