Supermarkets and miners help boost FTSE at start of new trading week

The FTSE 100 enjoyed a positive start to trading following the festive period, rising approximately 0.5% to 7,629, led by the mining, oil and food retail sectors.

The top riser on the blue chip index was precious metals producer Fresnillo (FRES), up 3.7% to £14.00. The market seems to think food retailers had a good Christmas period with WM Morrison Supermarkets (MRW) up 1.7% to 217.75p, Tesco (TSCO) trading 1.5% higher at 209.93p and Sainsbury's (SBRY) up 1.4% to 241.35p.

On overseas markets, China's SSE Composite index traded 30 points lower at 3,275; while Japan's Nikkei 225 index traded 18 points higher at 22,911.

US markets also got off to a good start to the new trading week. In early trading the Dow Jones was 36 points higher at 24,783; and the Nasdaq advanced 17 points to 6,953.

Heading the UK-quoted corporate news was serviced office provider IWG (IWG) which received an indicative takeover proposal from Brookfield Asset Management and Onex Corporation. The approach follows recent share price weakness caused by a profit warning in October which wiped a third off IWG's market value. IWG's shares jumped 27% to 254.85p on today's news.

Oil producer Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) said it should benefit from US tax changes primarily due to the reduction in the US corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. The changes are effective from 1 January 2018 and will impact the company's fourth quarter results.

FTSE 100 miner Rio Tinto (RIO) said it has completed its $1.5bn share buyback programme announced in two stages during 2017. It will today start to buy back a further $1.925bn worth of shares, to be completed by the end of 2018.

The $1.925bn figure represents the remaining portion of the $2.5bn share buyback programme announced on 21 September 2017, returning money from the sale of a coal business to shareholders.

Premier Oil (PMO) rose 3.3% to 78.75p after reporting that first oil has been produced from the Catcher Area in the North Sea.

DFS Furniture (DFS) has paid £1.2m for eight store leases, assets and intellectual property of Multiyork Furniture, which is in administration. The group said it intended that six stores would be converted to trade as Sofa Workshop, and the other two as DFS. It has also acquired all intellectual property rights of Multiyork, including the Multiyork trademark, product designs, domain names and marketing databases. DFS' shares were flat at 198.5p.

HaloSource (HALO:AIM) slumped 29% to 0.98p after warning that revenues would probably be at the low end of forecasts. An unexpected delay in receipt of glass pitchers from a supplier has temporarily prevented it from shipping product to one of its customers, JiuBan, prior to the end of December. HaloSource said this would have a material negative impact on its revenues for 2017 and it now anticipated that its total sales would be in the range of $2.6m to $3.0m and net loss for the year would be in the range of $5.0m to $5.5m.

A small cap investor with a patchy track record is now turning its attention to Bitcoin and blockchain. Clear Leisure (CLP:AIM) saw its shares price surge by more than 110% at one point in trading today after saying it would set up an IT joint venture including a proposed investment into a Bitcoin mining blockchain data centre.

Shares in UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG:AIM) crashed by 23.3% to 3.05p after a disappointing update. It said the Basal KL3 test has been re-run following mechanical problems and that low reservoir productivity indicated the zone may not be economically viable.

Satellite data communication services group Avanti Communications (AVN:AIM) reported $56.6m full year revenue, down from $82.8m a year earlier. It recorded a $203.7m operating loss which is significantly worse than the $40m operating loss in 2016.

Alan Harper Avanti's CEO said: 'The disruption of the early part of the year led to a lengthening of the sales cycle which caused revenue to be significantly lower than initially expected. However as recently announced the restructuring of the balance sheet aims to correct the capital structure and provide the platform for success over the medium term.' The company's shares fell 4.4% to 7.55p.

One Media IP (OMIP:AIM) rose 5% to 10.50p as investors continue to react to news before Christmas that former BBC chairman Michael Grade would become a non-executive director and help scale up the business. The shares have more than doubled since the announcement was first made.

Online education provider Wey Education (WEY:AIM) has completed the acquisition of UK firm Academy 21. The £1.593m cash consideration may rise to £1.6m dependant on the collection of certain debtors. The terms of the acquisition have slightly changed since the original announcement to provide for a slightly higher payment upfront but with no earn-out. For the year to 31 August 2017, Academy 21 made just over £1m revenue and £137,654 post-tax profit. Wey's shares advanced 7.7% to 35p.

D4t4 Solutions (D4T4:AIM) won a number of new contracts in its data management and data collection business areas, triggering a 12.3% share price rise to 141.5p. The company said that following the release of its half year results to 30 September, it converted four significant opportunities from its strong pipeline of potential business.

The small cap said that in data management it won a multi-year contract for its private cloud analytics solution with a global US headquartered financial institution. And it won new contracts for its Celebrus data collection software with a major US bank, a leading US insurer and a major European financial institution.