MARKET REPORT : Healthy display from another medical high-flyer

It was just like old times as the stock market alighted on a new wonder health share. Shield Diagnostic, which has bobbed around unconvincingly since arriving at 112p four years ago, was the attraction, shooting ahead 80p to a peak of 249.5p in a sudden burst of busy trading.

For long the potential star of its medical portfolio has been a test for measuring the possibility of heart attacks.

It now seems the Shield technique could have made a crucial breakthrough. If it has the company should be on the verge of making a statement.

Some believe Shield could become another British Biotech which, despite its recent hesitancy, has made dramatic progress.

Shield's development is a test for what is known as Activated Factor Twelve (AFT), which is one of the main components for blood clotting. Measuring AFT, it is felt, could be the best indication of cardiac risk. The results of two trials are known to be due.

Earlier this month, Shield caught a chill when it warned of worse-than- expected losses. It blamed lower sales of medical kits for an increased interim deficit of pounds 550,000, which prompted thoughts that its year's loss could top pounds 1m.

As Shield romped ahead another biotech high-flyer, Biocompatibles International, lost a little of its exuberance. The shares dipped 42.5p to 1,187.5p; they were 400p in the summer.

Leading equities had an uncertain session. In early trading Footsie managed a new high - 4,276.3 points - but uncertainty about the direction of interest rates took its inevitable toll and by the close the gain had been cut back to 3.1 points at 4,260.9.

With US rates about to be decided, Ken and Eddie enduring one of their confrontations today and the Germans thought to be near a rate cut, there was precious little incentive for investors to stir from the sidelines. Surprisingly, judging by the recorded volume, quite a few did, with sellers just about getting the upper hand.

British Petroleum had a busy time with Lehman Brothers, the US investment house, said to have put an 810p target on the shares. However some of the Lehman enthusiasm evaporated after another house, said to be Merrill Lynch, cast doubt on the buoyancy of the crude oil price. BP, at one time up 19p, settled for a 7.5p gain at 748.5p. Clyde Petroleum edged ahead 2.5p to 120p on the higher bid from Gulf Canada.

It was a day when high-flyers ran into profit-taking. Besides Biocompatibles, the seemingly unstoppable British Borneo Petroleum Syndicate slipped 36.5p to 1,301p and SmithKline Beecham and Zeneca fell back as the Roche analysts meeting turned out to be something of a non-event.

Pace Micro Technology, expected to produce the digital television decoders, slumped 57p to 169.5p after producing a profit warning. Maid gained 22.5p to 172.5p after rushing out a trading statement to counter the share slide - from 315p in October. The on-line information group said trading was in line with expectations.

Provincial television groups staged a modest rally, with Scottish TV up 30.5p to 576.5p and Yorkshire-Tyne Tees 40p to 1,142.5p. The digital alliance was less robust, with BSkyB and Carlton Communications giving ground and Flextech and Granada achieving modest headway. BSkyB's 16p fall to 593p could have been influenced by confusing European Union moves to increase the spread of coverage for big sporting events.

Cable & Wireless gained 15p to 479p as some wondered whether the seeming break-up of its link with the German Veba group would open the door for a takeover bid. Veba says it intends to keep its 10.4 per cent Cable stake but could buy out the 45 per cent held by Cable in a German telecoms venture.

Active Imagining jumped 20p to 97.5p after a company called TVX made a bid of around 104p a share.

Bridon, the wire and rope group, rose 14.5p to 121p on talk that its second half had been better than expected with the year's results at the top end of expectations, probably pounds 11m.

Northern Leisure, paying pounds 2.65m for a nightclub at Barnsley, gained 4.5p to 212.5p. Stockbroker Redmayne Bentley forecasts this year's results at pounds 7.95m with pounds 10.6m next and suggests the shares are a buy.

Prestwick, the electronic group, added 5.5p to 42.5p as acquisitive TT, the mini conglomerate, lifted its shareholding to 7.21 per cent.

Circle Communications continued to relapse following a profit warning, falling a further 25p to 95p.

Taking Stock

r Friendly Hotels rose 7p to 165.5p; stories circulated it is near to unloading its troublesome office services business and forging closer links with US group Choice Hotels International by taking on the management of some Choice properties on the Continent. Friendly first linked with Choice in April.

As part of the deal the Americans took a 5 per cent stake in Friendly and pumped pounds 11m into convertible preferred shares. The US group could end up with 28 per cent of the 30-strong Friendly chain.

r Calidore, a deal-maker, arrived on AIM with the shares ending at 3.25p and the warrants at 1p. A share and warrant unit was placed at 2.5p. Damian Aspinall (Caverdale car group) and Anton Bilton, of the building family, are behind the venture.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin