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Market ReportWeekly News Round-up

Small cap highlights: Europa, Providence, Rockhopper, DP Poland, 32 Red, Tern, ValiRX, and more

As global blue-chip equity markets capitulated, the London’s AIM market unsurprisingly remained on the back-foot, naturally though there were plenty of lowlights and highlights to spur trading on a stock-by-stock basis.

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Europa was boosted as it landed new acreage offshore Ireland.

Europa Oil & Gas (LON:EOG) shot up by about a third in Friday’s early deals as a new licensing round offshore Ireland showed the small cap oiler is punching above its weight.

The AIM-quoted explorer was the only junior among high profile names - such as BP, Exxon and China’s Nexen - to secure new projects off Ireland’s west coast.

Ireland’s government awarded the first tranche of fourteen licence options and a further tranche of awards is now anticipated in May.

News of the high calibre additions to Ireland’s offshore oil sector was taken as a major endorsement of an area that had largely been dismissed by sceptics.

Providence Resources (LON:PVR) is expected to also be a beneficiary of the newly heightened interest in the Irish exploration sector.

Rockhopper shares were down 8% after its partner Premier Oil cancelled the curtailed the current drill programme, with the final well removed from the schedule, following ‘material operating issues’ with the Eirik Raude rig.

DP Poland (LON:DPP), the operator of Domino's Pizza outlets in Poland, shares rose on Thursday after revealing saw like-for-like sales rose 29% year-on-year.

32RED (LON:TTR), a digital gaming group, rose about 10% as it told investors it would pay a special dividend following a better than expected trading performance in 2015.

Pinewood Group (LON:PWS), operator of the film studio used in the Bond and Star Wars movies, could be up for grabs as the company announced a strategic review.

Hornby (LON:HRN) slumped, about 40%, as it warned over profits. The model maker and retailer previously suffered some well-publicised supplier difficulties, and the shares had steadily recovered prior to this week’s shock.

IT investment group Tern (LON:TERN) gained about 25% as its subsidiary Cryptosoft launched a new security product.

Alaska focussed explorer 88 Energy (LON:88E) rallied strongly on Wednesday as latest analysis of an exploration well showed it was closer to confirming a new shale play could be viable.

Drug developer ValiRx (LON:VRX) told advanced as it told investors it is readying to expand the reach of its lead drug, VAL201, which is currently being tested as a treatment for prostate cancer to female infertility condition endometriosis.

Junior mining group Pan African Resources (LON:PAF) released good interim numbers, gold miners well in favour as metal climbs towards US$1,200.

Coloured gemstone group Richland Resources (LON:RLD) said sapphire production ahead of forecasts, first revenues and costs falling at mine in Queensland.

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