London mid-session report: Modest gains seen on FTSE



LONDON (ShareCast) - Market Movers
techMARK 2,127.76 +0.05%
FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) 5,953.90 +0.23%
FTSE 250 (FTSE: ^FTMC - news) 12,385.39 +0.19%

The FTSE made small gains on Monday - a half day for markets - up 14 points ahead of the Christmas holiday period, as the majority of investors take time off and trading volumes fall.

In economic news, it has been predicted that the national average house price is set to drop one per cent in the coming year. According to Hometrack, families facing financial woes will become increasingly reluctant to add to their debt levels and this will in turn affect house sales.

Hometrack's monthly data report has revealed that property prices dropped 0.1% in December compared to November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news) , its sixth decline in a row. Over the year prices are down 0.3%.

Tough time for Retailers

Things are looking tough for retailers, with business recovery group Begbies Traynor warning that an increasing number of both national and regional retail chains are heading for insolvency following a challenging year of trading.

The group's research shows that 13,700 retailers suffered significant financial distress between the start of October and mid-December.

Company News

ITV (LSE: ITV.L - news) has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Gurney Productions, an independent producer of US cable television networks. The UK TV network is purchasing a 61.5% stake in Gurney Productions for $40m, with a put and call option to buy the remaining 38.5% interest in the company. The put and call could be made from three years after the initial deal.

Global medical technology company Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN.L - news) announced Monday it has completed the acquisition of a substantial stake in Healthpoint Biotherapeutics. The FTSE 100 company paid $782m in cash for the assets, financed from the existing cash resources and bank facilities. The transaction increases Smith & Nephew's position in bioactives, the fastest growing area of advanced wound management.

Electric Word, which provides training services for the education, healthcare and sport sectors, said following its fundraising in August, trading is in line with company expectations.

Ascent Resources has been granted another loan to repay debts and finance projects in the New Year. The European-focused oil and gas exploration company has entered into an agreement with Henderson Global Investors and Henderson Alternative Investment Advisor for the subscription of convertible loan notes of up to £5.5m.

London Stock Exchange Group announced on Monday that it has shaken hands on a deal which will see it purchase a majority stake in LCH.Clearnet, but at a reduced price to that agreed back in April (Paris: FR0004037125 - news) . The company will now purchase the stake at €15 a share, around four euros lower than previously agreed price.

FTSE 100 - Risers
Burberry Group (Other OTC: BBRYF - news) (BRBY) 1,241.00p +1.97%
Vedanta Resources (Other OTC: VDNRF - news) (VED) 1,172.00p +1.74%
Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ.L - news) (KAZ) 768.50p +1.32%
Xstrata (XTA) 1,064.50p +1.28%
Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 - news) (RIO) 3,529.50p +1.13%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp (LSE: ENRC.L - news) . (ENRC) 279.70p +1.01%
Amec (LSE: AMEC.L - news) (AMEC) 1,017.00p +0.99%
Aberdeen Asset Management (Other OTC: ABDNF - news) (ADN) 369.00p +0.90%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 252.20p +0.84%
ITV (ITV) 107.50p +0.84%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Carnival (CCL) 2,397.00p -1.84%
Admiral Group (LSE: ADM.L - news) (ADM) 1,183.00p -1.42%
BT Group (LSE: BT-A.L - news) (BT.A) 236.70p -1.29%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,162.00p -1.19%
British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS.L - news) (BATS) 3,107.00p -1.11%
CRH (CRH (NYSE: CRH - news) ) 1,242.00p -1.11%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,747.00p -0.74%
Croda International (Other OTC: COIHF - news) (CRDA) 2,360.00p -0.72%
GKN (GKN (LSE: GKN.L - news) ) 229.10p -0.61%
Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL.L - news) (HL.) 685.50p -0.51%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Savills (SVS) 463.40p +3.44%
JD Sports Fashion (LSE: JD.L - news) (JD.) 710.00p +3.20%
PZ Cussons (LSE: PZC.L - news) (PZC) 389.00p +2.88%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 249.00p +2.85%
Hochschild Mining (Other OTC: HCHDF - news) (HOC) 495.70p +2.63%
Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW.L - news) (TW.) 66.90p +2.61%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 311.90p +2.60% Group (MONY) 163.90p +2.57%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 353.10p +2.35%
Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI.L - news) (ETI) 103.60p +2.32%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Centamin (DI (KSE: 003160.KS - news) ) (CEY) 37.98p -7.09%
United Drug (LSE: UDG.L - news) (UDG) 268.90p -3.27%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 860.50p -3.26%
Electra Private Equity (ELTA) 1,931.00p -1.98%
PayPoint (PAY) 833.00p -1.88%
Diploma (DPLM) 530.00p -1.76%
Regus (RGU) 107.10p -1.74%
Domino Printing Sciences (Other OTC: DMIPY - news) (DNO) 560.00p -1.67%
International Personal Finance (LSE: IPF.L - news) (IPF) 380.80p -1.50%
Greggs (GRG) 455.00p -1.43%