FTSE rising on financials ahead of UK jobs data

London stocks opened on higher on Wednesday with the blue-chip index led north by a string of banks and insurers as traders look to UK employment-related data out mid morning.

Asia-focused lender Standard Chartered (STAN) rose 1.9% to 814p, chased by RBS (RBS), up 1.6% to 244.85p, Barclays (BARC), up 1.31% to 238.33p, and HSBC (HSBA), up 1.08% to 704.7p.

Insurers were guided by Legal & General (LGEN), up 0.96% to 246.25p, and Old Mutual (OML), up 0.94% to 215.7p. Several pharmas, house builders and commercial property also firmed.

Not long after the open, FTSE 100 was up 28.73 points, or 0.4%, to 7297.29, camped out just below a record closing high. FTSE 250 was up 30.28, or 0.16%, to 18,817.8, again in fresh waters.

At 8.36am, WTI crude was down 0.68% to $52.84/bbl and Brent was down 0.41% to $55.74/bbl. Gold was up 0.04% to $1225.9/oz, with silver and copper mildly lower.

Anglo American (AAL), up 0.47% to 1397.5p, said the contribution to FY underlying earnings from Anglo American Platinum would be $65m, down from $168m in 2015. Oil majors also rose.

To the downside, TUI (TUI) continued its Tuesday slide to be down 5.25% to 1154p, and was followed by Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), lower 1.09% to 6850.5p.

Other stocks lower included gold-sensitive miners Fresnillo (FRES), off 1.05% to 1508p, and Randgold (RRS), down 0.64% to 7367.5p. Rolls-Royce (RR.) was down 0.28% to 708.5p.

Overall, about 34 blue chips were southbound, the remainder figuring higher.

BIGGER MOVERS

Polemos (PLMO), down 30.43% to 0.04p, has raised £495,000 gross via a placing of 1.414bn new shares at 0.035p each, with proceeds being used to assist in seeking investment opportunities and potentially making investments. It had also appointed two non-executive directors.

Powerhouse Energy (PHE) shed 28.33% to 1.07p as it announced a £2.5m placing at 0.8p a share to repay a loan note between it and Hillgrove. That company accepted a £2m cash pay-out for the £3.4m loan note, with the remaining £1.4m converted into new shares.

Frontera (FRR) rose 23.73% to 0.18p after appointing Stephen McCaughan Hope as a director, with immediate effect. He is founder and MD of Outrider Management LLC.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Metal Tiger (MTR) firmed 19.7% to 1.98p after stating its Botswana venture partner, MOD Resources, had requested and entered a trading halt effective immediately pending the release of an announcement regarding significant drill results below the proposed T3 pit.

Falcon Oil & Gas (FOG) added 19.05% to 6.25p as it noted the submission of a discovery evaluation report supporting the existence of a material gas resource in the Beetaloo Basin.

AFC Energy (AFC), up 12.24% to 13.75p, has conditionally raised £6m gross via the issue 60m new shares -- 58.5m in a placing and the remainder through a subscription -- at a discounted 10p each.

Tracsis (TRCS), down 8.6% to 425p, said it will deliver in-line FY revenue and profits if it can achieve the conversion of new sales for its various software products and services, supported by improvement in gross margin initiatives.

Tlou Energy (TLOU), up 4.48% to 8.75p, has announced a significant upgrade of reserves for the Lesedi CBM Project and initial reserves for the Mamba Project in Botswana. It this reinforced the commerciality of the Lesedi Gas Project.

Qinetiq (QQ.), up 4.27% to 288p, said underlying Q3 trading was as expected and that its FY outlook was unchanged.

Animalcare (ANCR), up 3.25% to 317.5p, has booked H1 underlying operating profits of £1.90m, up 22.6% up on last time. Revenue improved, as did underlying EBITDA. Interim dividend was hiked 11.1% to 2p a share.

Other stocks in the news included NEX (NXG), Beowulf Mining (BEM), Stagecoach (SGC), Georgia Healthcare (GHG) and Hargreaves Services (HSP).