Market Report: Allergy given a hay fever shot in the arm

Punters in Allergy Therapeutics were breathing a little bit easier yesterday. The Aim-listed drugs company was enjoying a revival after regulators in the States finally decided to rescue its grass pollen allergy vaccine from limbo.

While Allergy's Pollinex Quattro product – a jab that hay fever sufferers only need to inject four times each year – is already on sale in a number of European countries, the US Food and Drug Administration has had a clinical hold on the vaccine since 2007.

Now, the group revealed, it has been given the go-ahead for the next round of studies on the drug.

With bosses saying the subsequent step is to team up with someone to help commercialise Pollinex Quattro in the States, Gary Waanders, an analyst at house broker Nomura Code, said the news meant the "outlook for the company in finding a partner for the... program in the USA has improved immeasurably".

Certainly many in the Square Mile were sold, dosing up on shares in Allergy as it jumped up 3.12p to 11.75p, although the company did signal over a year ago the clinical hold was set to be lifted. Its share price doesn't look quite so healthy over the long-term, however – the stock has still been cut in half since April 2011.

Allergy was by no means the only company shooting up on news from across the Atlantic. The closely watched non-farm payroll figures boosted stocks in Wall Street and Europe by revealing 163,000 jobs were added in the US last month, ahead of expectations.

This prompted the FTSE 100 – which had been down in the dumps on Thursday thanks to disappointing comments from European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi – to shoot up 124.98 points to 5,787.28, its highest for over three months.

The data proved helpful for the miners, as Kazakhmys and Vedanta Resources climbed 44.5p to 723.5p and 53p to 954.5p. However, the biggest blue-chip riser was Aviva. The insurer charged up 21p to 306.2p in the wake of expectation-beating results from two of its rivals, France's Axa and US group AIG.

Also giving Aviva a helping hand was Investec's Kevin Ryan telling investors to keep buying the stock ahead of its upcoming first-half results, with the analyst saying he expects bosses to maintain its interim dividend.

Royal Bank of Scotland was another strong riser. After its interim results contained no nasty surprises, the state-owned bank advanced 11.5p to 216p while rival Barclays was also going well, climbing 9.05p to 171.35p. Just two Footsie stocks ended up falling, with IAG being knocked back 8.3p to 151p as the British Airways owner warned it was now expecting to suffer a full-year operating loss.

Could City Link actually be about to turn a profit? The loss-making courier business has for a long time been a major headache for Rentokil Initial, but yesterday the multi-tasking group announced it now expected the unit to return to profitability in the final three quarters of the year.

With Rentokil also revealing its pre-tax profits jumped 7 per cent over the fist six months, the rat-catcher was pushed up 4.35p to 76p in response as Panmure Gordon's analysts removed their "sell" recommendation. However, Seymour Pierce's Caroline de La Soujeole warned she was "not convinced" by the claims regarding City Link while Investec's Robert Morton said it "may be too early to bank on it".

Although John Lewis' latest weekly numbers showed that trading had been hurt by the start of the Olympics, the department store also announced online sales at Waitrose had jumped 34 per cent year-on-year.

This, Shore Capital said, was "materially ahead of that recorded by Ocado" as scribblers at the broker added that they saw "scope for sustained switching" from the online grocer to Waitrose. They also went on to reiterate their "sell" advice, although nonetheless Ocado ended up 3.3p better off at 77.6p.

Stockbroker XCAP Securities was on the up. The tiddler was fired up 23 per cent to 0.4p (although that's only a rise of 0.08p) on Aim after announcing it had hired Sir Peter Middleton – the former chairman of, among others, Barclays and National Lottery operator Camelot – as its non-executive chairman.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
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

Front-Office Developer (C#, .NET, Java,Artificial Intelligence)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...

C++ Quant Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

Java/Calypso Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...

SQL Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York