Today's market overview
Shares are up on the back of strength in the US overnight as traders reacted positively to news of a possible resolution to the fiscal cliff issue.
IC TIP UPDATES:
The insurance industry is beginning to quantify the cost of Superstorm Sandy which hit the east coast of the US last month. Buy recommendations Catlin Group (CGL) and Novae (NVA) have said their respective hits will be $200m and $25m-$30m. Elsewhere, Hiscox (HSX) said it expects a $90m hit.
Anglo Pacific (APF) has invested $15m in the Dugbe gold project in Liberia, which is operated by Hummingbird Resources (HUM), in return for a 2 per cent royalty on future smelter returns. We maintain our buy ratings on both Anglo Pacific and Hummingbird.
Simon Thompson recommendation Noble Investments (NBL) is to spend up to £5.5m on the acquisition of the Fine Art Auction Group in a deal which widens the range of collectibles Noble is involved in and boosts its auctions business. The chairman of Fine Art Auction, Stephan Ludwig, becomes an executive director of Noble, and its finance director Peter Floyd will take over as finance director of the combined group. We maintain our buy rating.
Shares in Chinese unconventional gas play Leyshon Resources (LRL) have fallen back sharply this morning after the company said that its testing of flow rates at a recent gas discovery suggested that stimulation will be required. This process will not begin until after the Chinese New Year.
Quindell Portfolio (QPP) continues its strong recent progress with another positive trading statement. Indeed, its anticipated pilot run rate revenues have doubled since its last trading update just two weeks ago.
Whitbread (WTB) has enacted a sale and leaseback deal for seven Premier Inn and restaurant properties.
Interserve (IRV) has spent £26.5m on the acquisition of a healthcare at home service provider, continuing a growing recent trend among outsourcing specialists to establish themselves in this field.
Keller (KLR) says that trading has remained robust since its expectation-beating statement last month.
In contrast, Morgan Sindall (MGNS) continues to foresee a tough trading period in 2013.
Oil services business Petrofac (PFC) says it expects to deliver net profit growth of 15 per cent for 2012 and the company expects to exit the year with an order backlog worth $11.6bn, up from $10.8bn last year.
OTHER COMPANY NEWS:
Sierra Leonean iron ore miner African Minerals (AMI) has announced changes to its infrastructure development plans which will involve expanding existing infrastructure rather than building a new port, saving up to $1bn.
Max Petroleum (MXP) has announced a doubling in revenues in the six months to September after a 58 per cent hike in production.
HiWave Technologies (HIW), formerly NXT, has announced the completion of a strategic review which is likely to conclude in the sale of the assets within the business.
Read today's press headlines and share tips.