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News & Tips: Costain, Carillion, Bovis Homes & more...

Natural resource stocks remain under pressure, though gold could be moving into an up traned.

London's benchmark was struggling under the weight of further markdowns in the extractive industries - crude oil future have also come under renewed pressure. Meanwhile, Japan’s economy pulled back in the second quarter as export demand for Japanese goods pulled back and households spent less - Japan’s GDP contracted 1.6 per cent on an annualised basis in the April-June quarter.

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Costain (COST) has strengthened its engineering programme management capability with the acquisition of Coventry-based consulting engineer Rhead Group for £36m. Rhead Group will join Costain's Power business and report into the Natural Resources division. Costain said it was taking the opportunity to combine all of its Nuclear activities into one unit that will report into its Infrastructure division.

More good news for shareholders in Carillion (CLLN); the support services and construction group has achieved financial close on the Midlands Priority School Building Programme private finance batch. The 25-year private finance concession contract will generate £187m of construction and support services revenue and sees Carillion invest £5.5m of equity, less than the £9m initially anticipated at the preferred bidder stage. Under the deal eight new schools will be constructed over a two-year period at a cost of £138m, while facilities management and maintenance services will also be delivered by Carillion for £49m.

Nighthawk Energy(HAWK) has entered into a 6-month contract with its oil purchaser which will narrow the discount to WTI of its pricing to $7.00 per barrel, a $1.60 per barrel improvement on the current rate. The driller also revealed an internal estimate of unrisked 3P reserves of 17.2m barrels net to the company.

House-builder Bovis Homes (BVS) has reported further growth in the first half of 2015. During the period, Bovis built 1,525 new homes - against 1,487 in H114. The group generated £351m in revenues, a 9 per cent increase, while net profit was also up 9 per cent to £56.0m. Bovis Homes grew its land bank from 21,350 plots across 76 sites to 23,287 plots across 86 sites.

Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate (KWE) has acquired a portfolio of 16 Spanish supermarkets, including 11 Carrefour supermarkets and five Dia supermarkets from a joint venture between French institutional investors managed by AEW Europe for €85.5m.

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Red Emperor Resources (RMP) said the Hawkeye-1 exploration well was drilled to the planned total depth of 2,920m. While it proved the existence of hydrocarbons in SC55, these were at the lower end of expectations and not likely economic to develop. The well will be plugged and abandoned.

Clarkson’s (CKN) half-year profits pulled back as the FTSE 250 shipping services company was hit by higher administrative expenses and costs connected to its acquisition of rival shipping broker RS Platou ASA.

Ocean Wilsons Holdings (OCN) said that its earnings could be under pressure if weakness in the Brazilian Real continues. The real has lost around 9 per cent of its value against the dollar since the half-year mark. Pretax profits for the group, which operates a maritime services company in Brazil, were down a third to $38.9m.

Besieged insurance outsourcer Quindell (QPP) has appointed a new chief executive, two months after Robert Fielding left. Indro Mukerjee will start on 7 September. He comes in at a time when the group’s accounting practices are being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

Stellar Resources (STG) announced the renewal of the Crown Estate Mines Royal Exploration Option over the Dolgellau Gold-Belt for a period of six years to Gold Mines of Wales (Operations) Limited.

Elegant Hotels Group (EHG) confirmed that the High Court of Justice in England and Wales has made an order confirming the reduction of the company's share premium account. The measure has been initiated in order to create distributable reserves to facilitate the payment of dividends for the current year.

Green Dragon Gas (GDG) revealed an 8 per cent increase in revenues, while gross profits in the first six month of 2015; the improvement due to higher gas sales volumes and stable prices.

Global dividends fell by 6.7 per cent year-on-year on a headline basis, according to figures from Henderson Global Investors.