Footsie is stuck in neutral, despite the normally “reassuringly boring” utilities stocks having a good morning.
Also on the upturn is Aggreko (LON:AGK) after an encouraging trading update from the temporary power provider. The share price jumped 4% in early deals to 1,570p after the group said it made an “encouraging start to the year” but has since powered down to 1,540p, up 2% on the day.
Royal Mail (LON:RMG) is the best performer, with investors moving back in after the shake-out last week. The lock-up period for the government expired on Sunday, meaning Vince Cable now has a decision to make on whether or not to sell the remaining 30% stake in the postal service.
Mining giant Rio Tinto’s first quarter iron ore production fell short of expectations, while shipments were affected by bad weather in the Pilbara region in Western Australia. The shares are down 1.6%.
FTSE 100 is up 3 at 6,587.
The group, run by Tony O’Reilly Jr, has been sounding out potential industry partners to invest in the Barryroe field in the Celtic Sea off the south coast of Ireland.
The 39-year-old brings with him specialist knowledge of Africa-focused junior explorers and also a good understanding of the capital markets, having helped companies raise over US$300mln.
On the downside, Aureus Mining’s (LON:AUE TSX:AUE) is off the pace, down 2.2p to 27.3p, after it raised US$26mln through a placing of shares at 27p a throw. Of that US$26mln, US$11.1mln will be stumped up by the IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank.
The money will help fund exploration of the deposits that surround Aureus’s flagship New Liberty gold mine development and other licences in its portfolio.