Market report

Wall St lower as hopes recede in Ukraine talks

Wall Street snapped four-session winning streaks on waning signs of progress in peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.19%, the S&P 500 lost 0.63%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped or 1.21%.

The FTSE 100 outperformed other European benchmarks as the commodity-heavy index was lifted by oil companies and miners. The index closed up 41.50 points at 7,578.75.

Diversified miners Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Glencore advanced 4.6%, 4.0% and 4.2%.

Shell and BP closed up 4.4% and 3.1%, respectively.

However, oil prices dropped overnight on reports the US is set for the largest release from its strategic reserve since its creation in 1974.

Brent crude futures were down 4.9% at $107.89 a barrel and US crude futures fell more than 5% to $101.37 a barrel by midday.

11.30am: Parsley Box offer snubbed

Shareholders in Scottish ready meals delivery group Parsley Box snubbed the company’s open offer, with only £140,000 or 12.85% raised of the £1.1m proposed total.

Together with £5.9m pledged from a placing of shares, the company raised gross proceeds of £6.07m, about £1m short of the target.

Full story here

7am: Menzies offer agreed

Directors of John Menzies and GIL International Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kuwait-based Agility Public Warehousing Company, have agreed the terms of the recommended cash offer for the Edinburgh-based aviation services company.

Each Menzies shareholder will receive 608p in cash per Menzies share valuing Menzies at approximately £571 million and £763m on an enterprise value basis.

The final offer price represents an 81% premium to the closing price of 335p per Menzies share on 8 February, the last business day prior to the commencement of the offer period.

Full story here

7am: Pivotal moment for Scotgold

Scottish gold mining company Scotgold posted a A$5.3m loss before tax for the year to the half-year to the end of December against a A$2.8m profit last time. Total revenue came in at A$6.4m (H1 2021: nil)

CEO, Phil Day said, “It’s been a transformative time for Scotgold which has seen the team work determinedly to deliver on our targets and maximise value at our flagship Cononish mine.

“This is a pivotal moment in our mine development plan, allowing us to access reserve mine gold grade more readily, which should see our gold grades increase significantly inline with our mine plan during 2022 and beyond.

“I look forward to reporting on our calendar year Q1 2022 production results in due course, as we continue to implement optimisation initiatives at Cononish to increase our gold production profile with the target of achieving a c.23,500oz p.a. production run rate of gold by end of Q1 2023.”

Global markets

Analysts say the ongoing talks between Ukraine and Russia as well as comments from Russia about scaling back on movement around Kyiv has created some optimism regarding a de-escalation of the war, though scepticism remains over the latest pledges.

Wall Street closed on an upbeat tone with the Dow Jones finishing up 0.97%, the S&P 500 closing 1.23% higher and the Nasdaq rising 1.84% .

Despite the Covid lockdown, the Shanghai Composite moved 1.6% higher and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.49%. However, Japan’s Nikkei slipped or 1.61%

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