FTSE 100 closes in the green as housebuilders rise and sentiment is boosted on US stimulus package h

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  • FTSE 100 index closes over 40 points up
  • Cineworld bashed as it confirms it will temporarily (?) shut its UK & US cinemas
  • Nightclub operator G-A-Y launches legal challenge to government’s 10.00pm curfew

5pm: FTSE closes ahead


FTSE 100 index closed in the green on Monday with housebuilders being boosted by comments from Prime Minister Johnson on first-time buyers.


The UK index of leading shares closed over 40 points higher at 5,942 as sentiment in London and in the US was boosted by reports of an improvement in President Trump’s health and the prospect of a US coronavirus relief package coming into view.


Midcap FTSE 250 also rose, advancing over 187 points at 17,583.


“Nancy Pelosi has encouraged today’s positive sentiment, with the leader of the House stating that they were ‘making progress’ on a deal that could be approved by both House and Senate,” noted Joshua Mahony, a senior market analyst at spread betting group IG.


In stocks, Barratt Developments plc (LON:BDEV) added 4.13% to 511.40p, while Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW. added 1.37% to 110.80p and Vistry Group PLC (LON:VTY) added 3.78% to 603.50p.


The Prime Minister pledged to create a “generation buy” through measures to further encourage first time homeowners, adding to the support piled onto the sector by the current government.


11.30am EST: US and Canada


US markets were flying high in early deals in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added over 389 points at 28,072. The broader-based S&P 500 gained over 49 at 3,397. The tech heavy Nasdaq exchange added over 196 points at 11,271. Up in Toronto, the TSX advanced over 128 points higher at 16,327.


4.00pm: Mixed day for the hospitality sector


The FTSE 100 looks set to end the day with solid gains, with sentiment buoyed by a better than expected showing by the services sector in September.


The index of heavyweight shares was up 44 points (0.8%) at 5,946.


The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released this morning revived waning interest in blue-chips after a perky start but other news from the hospitality sector was not so good with cinema operators queueing up to temporarily close outlets after the makers of the James Bond films decided over the weekend to postpone the release of the latest chapter in the long-running series.


Cineworld Group PLC (LON:CINE), down 36% at 25.4p, was hit hard by the James Bond news.


The PMI data provided a bit of a pick-me-up for shares in pubs and restaurants owners but possibly of more interest to followers of this sector is a threat by nightclub owner G-A-Y to challenge in the courts the government’s 10.00pm curfew on restaurants, pubs and bars.


3.40pm: Proactive North America headlines:


Predictiv AI Inc ( CVE:PAI) (OTCMKTS:INOTF) advances ThermalPass to the production planning and manufacturing go-to-market phase


Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd (CVE:NSP) (OTCMKTS:NSPDF) debuts new website as it prepares to roll out a slew of new plant-based products in North America


Bam Resources Corp (CSE:BBR) (OTCPINK:NPEZD) says drilling expands oxide copper, gold and silver zones at Majuba Hill


Biocept Inc‘s (NASDAQ:BIOC) Target Selector outperforms traditional tumor cell detection test in metastatic lung cancer study


Pacific Empire Minerals Corp (CVE:PEMC) (OTCQB:PEMSF) set for drilling at Jean Marie project in BC after it receives exploration permit


Binovi Technologies Corp (CVE:VISN) (OTCMKTS:BVNIF) raising C$1.7 million to fund K-12 education platform, Vima Strobe integration


Australis Capital Inc (CSE:AUSA) (OTC:AUSAF) names experienced cannabis investments expert Harry DeMott its new CEO; adds new independent director


Gold Resource Corp (NYSEAMERICAN:GORO) unveils plans to create two separate mining firms, one in Nevada and the other in Mexico


Namaste Technologies Inc (CVE:N) says subsidiary CannMart cancels licensing agreement with Ignite International Brands


LexaGene Holdings Inc (CVE:LXG) (OTCQB:LXXGF) unveils early access program for pathogen-detecting


3.15pm: Footsie flagging a little at the end of the day


US stocks have got off to a flyer but UK equities are flagging a bit.


The FTSE 100 was nevertheless still well in credit, up 36 points (0.6%) at 5,938, despite sterling rising by around half a cent against the US dollar at US$1.2982; a strong exchange rate is usually considered a headwind for Footsie stocks.


Away from the big caps, Kosmos Energy Limited (LON:KOS) was the top riser, soaring 51% to 120p after it secured a loan facility secured against its assets in the Gulf of Mexico.


Another resource stock, Bezant Resources PLC (LON:BEZ), was also lighting up the firmament with a 24% rise at 0.18p after it provided some further detail on its plans to list the vehicle which holds an 80% interest in the Mankayan copper-gold project in the Philippines.


2.55pm: US stocks race out of the blocks


US benchmarks started the new trading week on the front foot as investors turn more positive on a fiscal stimulus package being agreed and after reports that President Trump could be discharged from hospital today.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average added over 260 points at 27,941, with all 30 of its constituents green at the open. The S&P 500 gained 30 points at 3,378.


The tech-laden Nasdaq index started in New York over 111 points higher at 11,186.


Trump was flown to the Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland on Friday after it was revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and been given a cocktail of drugs but reports Monday suggest he is now on the mend. He has also sent several tweets.


It adds to the sense that the election race for the presidency, with the vote due on November 3 may now be a little less chaotic.


In focus this week, which is a little light on macro-economic data, will be Federal Reserve talk, according to Deutsche Bank research analyst Brett Ryan.


He highlights chairman Jerome Powell’s NABE address on Tuesday, and the release of the minutes to the September FOMC meeting, along with New York Fed President Williams’ (dove) discussion of flexible average inflation targeting on Wednesday.


“The messaging from Fed leadership has been clear since Jackson Hole. Nevertheless, we are interested in any indication that Powell and Williams’ outlooks have changed materially with the recent breakdown in fiscal stimulus talks, which officials have been forceful in noting are critical to the outlook,” he said in a note.


1.45pm: FTSE 250 led higher by Weir, despite CIneworld slump


London’s leading equities have gone into hibernation mode over the lunchtime trading session.


The FTSE 100 index has been hovering around the 5,950 level for a couple of hours now; it is currently up 47 points (0.8%) at 5,949.


Somehow, the mid-cap FTYSE 250 is outdoing it with a 0.9% (164 point) rise to 17,560, despite Cineworld Group PLC (LON:CINE) topping the fallers with a 44% fall to 22.02p.


The cinema chain operator has already confirmed it is shuttering its UK and US outlets, putting 45,000 jobs at risk, and Sky News has subsequently reported that its lenders are parachuting in advisers to talk about restructuring the group’s ludicrous debt mountain.


In filmic terms, parachuting in debt negotiators is like James Bond starring in The Big Short.




Elsewhere in the FTSE 250, packaged sandwiches maker Greencore Group PLC (LON:GNC) has indicated revenue for the fiscal year just ended will be down 14% or so on the year before.


Greencore’s shares tumbled 11% to 90.95p.




Leading the FTSE 250 higher was Weir Group PLC (LON:WEIR) after it agreed to sell its oil & gas division to US giant Caterpillar for US$405mln in cash.


The engineer’s shares cranked 17% higher to 1,499.5p.


12.20pm: US indices tipped to bounce back


After Friday’s jolts to market complacency – US jobs figures and President Trump succumbing to the coronavirus – the news is more positive today.


Hopes that President Trump (avec masque) will be released from the hospital today look set to encourage buyers back into the market while some are also looking for progress on talks over the proposed stimulus package for the US economy.


Spread betting quotes indicate the Dow Jones will open around 179 points higher at bout 27,862 while the S&P 500 is tipped to open 23 points firmer at 3,371.


The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite is set to start some 285 points higher at about 11,360.


“US politicians have yet to reach a deal on the proposed Covid-19 relief package. The Democrats are pushing for a package of $2.2 trillion, while the Republicans are interested in a scheme worth $1.6 trillion. Nancy Pelosi of the Democrats has been in contact with the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, recently. The stimulus package talks are likely to remain in focus,” noted CMC Markets’ David Madden.


“Over the weekend, President Trump called upon both sides to reach an agreement. It is clear the US leader wants to pump out positive headlines going into the last few weeks of the presidential election. Yesterday, Pelosi said that progress was being made in relation to a package,” he added.


The Trumpinator


On the macroeconomic front, the cupboard is not entirely bare but neither is it choc-a-bloc.


The ISM Non-Manufacturing Survey is scheduled for release, with the consensus forecast being a reading of 56.2 from the previous value of 56.9.


“The initial huge rebound in the index is over, but with retail sales back on their pre-Covid track last month, we would be surprised to see a significant weakening,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics.


“Later in the fall, though, we expect the index to decline further as consumers’ spending softens in the wake of the hit from the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits,” it added.


In London, the FTSE 100 was up 47 points (0.8%) at 5,949.


11.15pm: Footsie back on the rise after better than expected services PMI


Since the release of the UK Services PMI the FTSE 100 index has bucked its ideas up and resumed its upward journey.


London’s index of leading shares was up 40 points (0.7%) at 5,942.


The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 56.1 in September from August’s high of 58.8, but the decline wasn’t as large as forecast; economists had pencilled in a figure of 55.0 for September.




Optimism about the year ahead has “cooled somewhat”, according to IHS markit’s chief business economist, Chris Williamson, and this hints that “risks for coming months lie skewed to the downside”.


“Companies grew increasingly worried about the impact of a second wave of virus infections and the gradual withdrawal of government support, especially the furlough scheme. Brexit worries are also rising again, causing hesitancy in spending and investment decisions.


“While the third quarter will inevitably see a strong economic rebound, growth in the fourth quarter looks likely to be far less impressive,” Williamson said.


Duncan Brock, the group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurment & Supply, which sponsors the survey, said September saw another steady improvement in trading conditions as reduced pandemic restrictions fuelled an expansion in services activity.


“New orders from domestic markets grew for the third month in a row, and business-to-business firms enjoyed stronger growth. In particular operations connected to property purchasing, fuelled in part by stamp duty concessions did well. Consumer facing firms remained hampered by covidsecure measures and cautious customer spending,” Brock noted.


“Once again job losses remained the black spot amidst these pockets of recovery. With the seventh consecutive monthly drop in job numbers, redundancies have replaced job hiring in an attempt to shield firms from rising input costs but these strategies will devastate local communities. Business margins were squeezed further as firms sought to mitigate the impact of competition with discounting on their products and services.


“There is little expectation that these disruptions will come to an end soon, so many businesses are planning to ‘tick over’ until year end as months of toil and trouble lie ahead,” Brock warned.


Ulas Akincilar, the head of trading at the online trading platform, INFINOX, said that “away from the flailing tourism and hospitality subsectors, new orders are holding up well,” but added that today’s announcement by Cineworld that it is shuttering its UK and US outlets is “a reminder of just how fragile progress is”.


Susannah Streeter, a senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, meanwhile, has focused on the positive responses to the PMI data by the shares of pubs and restaurant groups.


Wetherspoon (JD) PLC (LONLJDW) was up 3.5% at 882.5p, All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers PLC (LON:MAB) was 2.8% to the good at 139.4p and Premier Inns owner Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB) was 0.8% heavier at 2,188p.


“Despite the tightening of restrictions and the end of the government subsidised Eat Out to Help Out scheme, the majority of companies questioned still reported growth in activity in September. It’s a welcome respite given how stark revenue losses have been during the pandemic for pub, restaurants and hotel chains,” Streeter said.


“This more encouraging snapshot of the services sector may help deliver the confidence boost that the deputy governor of the bank of England Andy Haldane has appealed for, to aid the recovery. Whether it will lead to the injection of investment in equipment or skills needed to provide an added thrust to growth remains to be seen, with many firms still very cautious and fearful of spending too much in case the pandemic takes another turn for the worst; however, the new jobs support scheme, which will subsidise wages of part time workers should also give companies in the hospitality industry more flexibility with their workforce, which will be sorely needed in the uncertain months ahead,” she concluded.


10.00am: Well, that did not last long


It’s a “risk-on” and masks-on day in equity markets, with hopes rising that a paler, less orange Donald Trump might return soon to the White House.


The FTSE 100 was up 19 points (0.3%) at 5,921, with housebuilders to the fore but that’s way below its intra-day high.


“One of the first items across the President’s desk should he return to the Oval office is likely to be a potential stimulus package – with a deal still to be brokered between the Democrats and Republicans,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.


“The political situation in the US is likely to dominate market sentiment for the next few weeks as the election looms, developments around the health of both Trump and his challenger Joe Biden, and the latest polling will all be closely watched by investors,” he added.


The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that sales of new cars were down 4.4% year-on-year in September, with just 438,041 new registrations.


The SMMT said the outcome marked the weakest September since 1999, which was when the dual number plate system came in.


Year-to-date, sales of new cars are down 33.2% on the same period of 2019.


Searching for a bright spot among the gloom, the SMMT noted that demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) increased by 184.3% compared with September last year, with the month accounting for a third of all 2020’s BEV registrations.


“During a torrid year, the automotive industry has demonstrated incredible resilience, but this is not a recovery,” admitted Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the SMMT.


“Despite the boost of a new registration plate, new model introductions and attractive offers, this is still the poorest September since the two-plate system was introduced in 1999. Unless the pandemic is controlled and economy-wide consumer and business confidence rebuilt, the short-term future looks very challenging indeed,” he added.


The news did not stop car distributor Inchape PLC (LON:INCH) from rising 3.5% to 462.6p or Vertu Motors PLC (LON:VTU) from advancing 0.8% ti 27,4o while sector peers Camrbia Automobiles PLC (LON:CAMB), Marshall Motor Holdings Plc (LON:MMH) and Pendragon PLC (LON:PDG) were unchanged.




9.45am: UK services sector shows “encouraging resilience”


The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for September eased to 56.1 from 58.8 in August.


The PMI did, however, remain above the 50.0 level that marks the crossover point between contraction in activity and expansion for the third month in succession.


“The UK service sector showed encouraging resilience in September, with business activity continuing to grow solidly despite the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme being withdrawn. Unsurprisingly, spending in the restaurant sector slumped after spiking higher in August, and many other consumer services activities showed a similar slide back into contraction as renewed lockdown measures were introduced, causing the overall rate of expansion to moderate,” said Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit.


8.30am: Positive start to the new week


The FTSE 100 opened firmly in positive territory on Monday taking its cue from Asia’s main markets.


The UK’s blue-chip stocks opened 68 points higher at 5,970.50.


Driving sentiment was the imminent release from hospital of President Trump after his coronavirus scare and the prospect of an accord over the latest, long-delayed round of US stimulus.


Here in the UK, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak looks set to announce his own boost to the economy – the GBP238mln Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) programme.


On the market, Cineworld (LON:CINE) confirmed weekend reports that it is temporarily shuttering its UK picture halls.


The news was greeted by the market in predictable manner as the shares collapsed 47% to 21.17p, valuing a business that was worth almost GBP2bn less than a year ago at GBP249mln.


Sticking with the mid-caps, Weir Group (LON:WEIR) jumped 20% after the pump maker sold off its oil and gas business to Caterpillar in a GBP314mln deal.


Proactive news headlines:


Bezant Resources PLC (LON:BZT) has provided some further detail on its plans to list the vehicle which holds an 80% interest in the Mankayan copper-gold project in the Philippines. Said vehicle, called MMJV, which in turn is a subsidiary of Mining and Minerals Industries Holding, is being reversed into a Singapore-listed company called AsiaPhos Ltd. The transaction is at the “non-binding term sheet” stage, with the definitive agreement expected to be concluded by the end of the month (if not the deal will lapse).


Quadrise Fuels International PLC (LON:QFI) said it has significantly mitigated the potential impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) due to a prompt and proactive approach. In its final results statement, the group noted that it has been able to extend its business development ‘runway’, with GBP2.4mln of cash as at June 30, 2020, and it was able to significantly reduce travel expenses. Available cash leaves the company sufficiently funded through to mid-second quarter 2021, Quadrise noted.


EQTEC PLC (LON:EQT) has revealed that its gasification technology is to be independently reviewed by engineering and consultancy company Wood Group UK. The main focus will be on the AIM-listed waste-to-energy specialist’s 6MW (megawatt) power plant in Movialsa, Spain, and its application to a wide range of mixed waste fuels. In conjunction with this, Wood will also be completing a market review, assessing the potential for the effective market penetration of EQTEC’s waste gasification technology solutions considering waste type, availability, regional policies and regulations and capital cost comparisons. These two reviews are expected to be completed by the end of the year.


BATM Advanced Communications Ltd (LON:BVC) (TASE:BVC) revealed it has landed a EUR4.3mln order for its coronavirus (COVID-19) real-time diagnostic kits and instruments. The group said the customer is an Italian group that provides tests across Europe for businesses such as airports. BATM said it expects to receive further significant orders from the buyer, both near-term and in the next year.


Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) said funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management will work with it to identify and fund future acquisition opportunities. Oaktree, a premier global firm with a history of successful partnerships, has agreed to commit up to US$1bn in aggregate over three years for mutually agreed upon “proved developed producing” (PDP) acquisitions with transaction valuations greater than US$250mln. Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) will match Oaktree’s investment on a dollar for dollar basis and will act as the sole operator of all assets acquired.


Zephyr Energy PLC (LON:ZPHR), the Rocky Mountain oil and gas company, has got the funding needed to drill a research well in the Paradox Basin, Utah. The company said the well should be spudded before the end of the year. Zephyr has entered into a definitive binding agreement with the University of Utah’s Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI) to sanction and fund US$2 million towards the planned stratigraphic research well.


SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX) has flagged up a strong performance during its second half to date with production presently seen ahead of guidance. The company, in an update marking the end of its third quarter, said it now intends to accelerate a significant new drill programme at the South Disouq project area in Egypt. Production in the nine months to end September 2020 averaged between 6,488 and 6,598 barrels oil equivalent per day (boepd), which is up 85%-89% on the comparative period in 2019 and compares favourably to current guidance of 6,000 to 6,250 boepd.


Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL) said its Blanket mine produced 15,164 ounces of gold during the quarter ended September 30, 2020, an increase of 11.1% on the 13,646 ounces produced in the corresponding quarter of 2019. It takes the total amount of gold produced in the nine months to end September 2020 to 42,896 ounces, 12% ahead of production at the same stage in 2019. The company boosted its production guidance for the year to December 31, 2020, to between 55,000 and 58,000 ounces.


Norman Broadbent PLC (LON:NBB) said it has agreed to acquire the outstanding minority interest of 25% of Norman Broadbent Interim Management Limited (NBIM). The professional services firm is buying the stake from Angela Hickmore, managing director at NBIM and Norman Broadbent Solutions, for GBP135,000 to be paid via an initial cash consideration of GBP65,000 at completion and the issue of consideration shares to the value of GBP70,000. For the year ended December 341, 2019, NBIM generated net fee income (after interim costs) of GBP2.2mln, up from GBP191,000 in 2016, and a resulting profit of GBP248,000, up from GBP60,000 in 2016, the company said.


Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) announced that drilling has begun on its 16.665% owned potentially high impact West Newton B-1 well in east Yorkshire. It is an appraisal well designed to follow-up the successful West Newton A-2 discovery well. West Newton B-1 will be drilled down to a depth of around 2,000 metres over a period of six to ten weeks, the group said.


Chariot Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:CHAR) has appointed Pierre Raillard as its Morocco Country Director. The group said Raillard brings to the company over 25 years’ operational and management experience in the energy industry, with specific expertise in the development of natural gas projects in Africa. He has held senior positions within a number of leading energy firms. He joins Chariot from Orca Energy Group, which he returned to as head of business development, having previously played a key role in the development of the Songo Songo gas field, located offshore Tanzania.


Premier African Minerals Ltd (LON:PREM) has cleared its debt to a group led by Riverfort, after the respective investors elected to convert the remaining balance of US$65,000 of the investment plus accrued interest of US$249.32 into shares. The investment agreement under which the conversion was made dates back to May 7, 2020. “This is the last of the convertible loan notes related to this investment and this debt is now cleared,” Premier African’s chief executive George Roach said in a statement released after the market close on Friday.


Independent Oil and Gas PLC (LON:IOG) has confirmed it is not making an offer for Deltic Energy PLC (LON:DELT) but said it believes a transaction “at the right level” would have considerable logic. IOG made its interest in Deltic known in early September and other UK-focused oil and gas companies have also recently indicated interest in the AIM-quoted firm which has an exploration partnership with Shell, a wider North Sea project portfolio and a healthy cGBP12mln cash balance. Deltic previously batted away a takeover approach from Reabold Resources and in doing so was backed by its major shareholders.


Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS), the technology commercialisation company focused solely on cyber security and risk, has announced the appointment of its CEO, Tom Ilube, to the board of WPP PLC (LON:WPP) as an independent non-executive director with immediate effect.


KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) the technology and software investment company that focuses on risk management for capital markets, has announced the issue of a total of 477,183 options including 185,034 options to subscribe for new ordinary shares of 10p each in the company to employees of the group and certain directors of the company, including its CFO Kim Suter under the company’s Employee Share Option Plan. The options are exercisable at 38p, will vest over a 30 day period for employees, or over a three month period for the Non-Executive Directors, and will expire on October 1, 2030.


Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO), the developer of next-generation proton therapy systems for cancer treatment, said its Remuneration Committee has approved the grant of share options over a total of 24,000,000 new ordinary shares of 25 pence each to members of the management team including Nicolas Serandour, the group’s chief executive officer), Dr Michael Sinclair, its executive chairman) and Professor Steve Myers, an executive director and ADAM executive chairman. The options have been granted at an exercise price of 50p per share and have a five-year term, expiring on October 5, 2025


Advanced Oncotherapy also said it will be hosting a presentation and Q&A session for all investors and analysts at 2.00pm BST delivered by the company’s senior management team. The Investor Day will update the market on the company’s patient-centric business model, the broader strategy and operational deliverables for 2021. The presentation will be hosted through the digital online platform Investor Meet Company, with dial-in details also available for attendees once registered. If new to the platform, investors and analysts can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and add to meet Advanced Onotherapy via the following link: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/advanced-oncotherapy-plc/register-investor


Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP), the developer of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease, has said it expects to announce its financial results for the year ended April 30, 2020, on Friday, October 16, 2020.


6.50am: Firmer start predicted


The FTSE 100 index looks set to get off to a positive start on Monday, taking its cue from Asia’s main markets which were buoyed by hopes President Trump could soon be discharged from hospital following his coronavirus (COVID-19) scare.


The prospect of a breakthrough on America’s US$2.2 trillion coronavirus support package also helped lift the mood. Talking on TV Sunday, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said progress was being made.


Trump, meanwhile, has asked negotiators to work together, although there is resistance from the Republican side (and from inside the White House) on the scale of the proposed bail-out.


“The stimulus package talks are likely to remain in focus…It is clear the US leader wants to pump out positive headlines going into the last few weeks of the presidential election,” said David Madden of CMC Markets.


Here at home, and according to the Daily Mail, there is ‘fury’ over the glitch in the system that missed 16,000 coronavirus positive tests last week.


With the virtual Tory Party conference in full swing, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak will on Monday address the faithful with the promise of a GBP238mln Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) programme.


Looking ahead, this week we have updates from grocer Tesco (LON:TSCO), cigarette maker Imperial Brands (LON:IMB), and bookie GVC (LON:GVC), all of which have new bosses, but little is on the corporate agenda for today.


Around the markets


  • Pound worth US$1.2934 (flat)
  • Bitcoin worth $10,664.07 (up 0.76%)
  • Gold US$1,897.90 an ounce (down 0.51%)
  • Brent crude US$40.08 a barrel (up 2.08%)

6.45am: Early Markets – Asia/Australia


Asia Pacific markets were mostly higher on Monday with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index up 1.54% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rising 1.28%.


Markets in China are closed for a holiday.


South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.33% while shares in Australia surged with the S&P/ASX 200 rising about 2.59% as shares of the country’s major banks surged. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) gained 3.86%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) added 3.04% and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) soared 3.74%.


READ OUR ASX REPORT HERE


Proactive Australia news:


Cassini Resources Limited (ASX:CZI) has been taken over by OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) with the scheme of arrangement now implemented and all shares transferred.


Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has completed a placement of $2 million at 4.9 cents per share to support due diligence and associated costs for strategic objectives to progress the Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.


Marvel Gold Ltd (ASX:MVL) has started a drilling campaign at Lakanfla Gold Project in western Mali aimed at proving the existence of a karst and identifying the potentially mineralised areas of the gravity lows.


Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) and Orion Project Joint Venture partner Stonehorse Energy Limited (ASX:SHE) have progressed plans to restore production in the recently acquired Mitchell 12-1 Well within Brookside’s Jewell Drilling Spacing Unit (DSU) at SWISH AOI in the southern part of the SCOOP Play in the US.


Carnavale Resources Limited (ASX:CAV) has signed an exclusive and binding 24-month option agreement with Western Resources Pty Ltd to acquire 80% of the Ora Banda South Project, which covers around 25 square kilometres in the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia.


Legend Mining Limited (ASX:LEG) has intersected 26.25 metres of nickel-copper sulphide in a diamond hole at the Mawson discovery which further enhances the scale and potential of the Rockford Project on WA’s Fraser Range.


Nexus Minerals Ltd (ASX:NXM) has received high-grade assay results from the first 20 of 40 reverse circulation (RC) holes drilled at the Templar prospect, within its Wallbrook Gold Project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields.


Northern Minerals Ltd (ASX:NTU) has lodged a tax return and refundable Research and Development (R&D) tax offset claim for $8.7 million with the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) for the 2020 financial year.


Comet Resources Ltd‘s (ASX:CRL) Share Purchase Plan (SPP) for existing eligible shareholders to raise $500,000 has been strongly supported with subscriptions received for almost five times that amount.


Marvel Gold Ltd (ASX:MVL) recently confirmed the success of its transition to gold explorer by delivering an upgraded resource for the Tabakorole Gold Project in Mali, West Africa, with 910,000 ounces grading 1.2 g/t.

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