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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Stephen Hawking is reportedly taking steps to trademark his name
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor