JD Sports top FTSE 100 riser after record Nike results

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JD Sports Fashion PLC (LON:JD.) was the lead riser in the FTSE 100, jumping 4% to 946.7p before close, after sportwear giant Nike posted record results.

Quarterly sales slam-dunked the US$12bn mark for the first time in the Beaverton, Oregon company’s 50-year history, up 96% on the pandemic hit period a year ago to US$12.3bn and 21% higher than two years ago.

The ‘athleisure’ retailer, however, is still set for a controversial AGM next week amid criticism for the £4.3mln proposed for executive chairman Peter Cowgill, despite all the government support received during the pandemic.

2.45pm: CRH, Ashtead get boost from US infrastructure deal

CRH plc (LON:CRH) and Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT) both rose 2% to 3,779p and 5,400p respectively after US President Biden’s US$600bn infrastructure deal was agreed on Thursday.

The building materials producer and the equipment rental provider are set to benefit from new investment in roads, bridges and broadband.

“We believe that CRH is becoming an increasingly ‘American’ company as each year passes, albeit one with a proud Irish heritage. We estimate that the Americas will account for 70% of profits this year, rising to 80% by 2025,” analysts at Berenberg said, upgrading the stock to ‘buy’.

1.45pm: WPP on the rise after upgrade from Credit Suisse

WPP PLC (LON:WPP) rose 2% to 1,001p in the early afternoon after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to ‘neutral’ from ‘underperform’, hiking the target price to 1,060p from 835p.

Analysts said structural concerns about agency holding companies “have taken a back seat” as government stimulus and recovery in some pandemic-impacted sectors kick in.

The advertising company is also taking steps to address the challenges posed by the shift in marketing to transformation, creative fee pressure, increased competition from consultants and new entrants and potential disintermediation, analysts reckon.

1pm: Live Company in demand after new contract with Capron Zoo in US

Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) moved 9% higher to 5.25p at lunchtime after signing a new contract with Capron Zoo in Massachusetts for its BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise half tour.

The AIM-listed firm said the event will take place from June 26 to August 29 and will be the company’s first time working with Capron Zoo.

Live Company added that it is continuing to build its US business and “looks forward to announcing new tours there in due course”.

12pm: Amigo higher after lenders allow more time to sort out its mess

Amigo Holdings PLC (LON:AMGO) gained 7% to 9.39p at noon after suspension of certain conditions relating to its loan facility was due to run out today but has been extended to 24 September.

All new lending activity at the controversial lender has been frozen and this has prompted the reduction in the size of the facility to £100mln from £250mln.

All cash generation arising from customer loans held within the facility is restricted and will continue to be used during the extended waiver period extension to further reduce the outstanding balance of the facility. As of the date of this extension, Amigo had drawn down £27mln.

11am: Chariot edges higher after upbeat outlook statement 

Chariot Limited (LON:CHAR) edged 6% higher to 5.48p after announcing the next 12-24 months will be “an exceptionally busy time” as it moves to drilling operations offshore Morocco.

The plan is to drill an appraisal well at the Anchois project to confirm the resource base and test deeper prospects.

The energy company, which recently got recapitalised through equity funding, said it looks forward to multiple new investment opportunities in African renewable and hybrid power projects.

9.50am: Prospex Energy lower after Spain tightens exploration restrictions as part of climate change law

Prospex Energy PLC (LON:PXEN) tumbled 15% to 2.2p in mid-morning after announcing that Spain won’t issue any new exploration licences and has further tightened up and restrictions as part of a new climate change law.

The investment company said its interests in exploitation permits at this time “seem largely unaffected” but it’s not clear how things may develop in the future.

It added that its current assets “can run all if not the vast majority of their economic life”.

In the FTSE 250, Crest Nicholson (LON:CRST) shed 5% to 414.2p, perhaps due to profit-taking following a strong set of results on Thursday.

The housebuilder said full-year adjusted profit before tax should come in at £100mln after a strong trading performance in the first half.

The firm benefited from a boom in the housing market supported by government measures and consumer demand for countryside homes during the pandemic.

8.50am: Remote Monitored Systems on the rise after UK approves anti-viral mask

Remote Monitored Systems PLC (LON:RMS) was an early riser on Friday, jumping 13% to 1.175p after the five-ply version of its Pro-Larva anti-viral mask has been approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

The mask, developed in collaboration with Volz Filters, has an additional filter layer after the hydrophobic outer layer, further strengthening the mask’s bacterial filter efficiency, the AIM-listed firm said.

Volz and RMS subsidiary Pharm 2 Farm have been working on developing a new anti-viral filter material, as an extension of the work on the anti-viral mask and covered by the same patent. This new material has passed the proof-of-concept stage and Volz and P2F are now looking at how this could be commercialised.

Elsewhere, Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) rose by a tenth to 79p after upgrading expectations for the year to 31 December 2021.

The provider of freight management services said full-year adjusted profit before tax should come in at £8.5mln after the strong trading trends since early 2021 has been holding up.

“We have had a good first half which has positioned us well for a strong outcome for the full year. We are bringing the group closer together unifying IT, people and brands, the benefits of which are starting to come through,” said chief executive Robert Ross in a statement.

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