Market Report: Car companies take an uphill journey


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Traders were revving their engines yesterday as two car companies came to market.

Dealership Marshall Motors jumped to 161.5p on its first day of dealing, after shares were offered at 149p.

Meanwhile, owner BCA Marketplace began trading after a reverse merger with Haversham Holdings, a shell company listed by automotive industry veteran Avril Palmer-Baunack last year. The deal was done at 150p a share, but when news of the takeover first leaked weeks ago Haversham surged to 160p before trading was suspended at the company’s request. BCA Marketplace dipped 3p to 157p yesterday as trading resumed but given the price of the final deal this still represented a 7p premium.

The Footsie ambled into the Easter weekend with weak volumes, climbing 23.96 points to 6833.46.

Continuing uncertainty over Iranian nuclear talks kept oil prices high and, as a result, gas guzzling airlines faltered. easyJet slipped 28p to 1844p, while British Airways owner IAG dropped 1.5p to 598.5p.

Drugs group BTG enjoyed its best day in ten months after telling the City to up estimates for full-year sales. The healthcare group, up 35.5p at 773p, said the upgrade was thanks in part to the recent acquisition of lung device company PneumRx.

Electronic parts supplier Electrocomponents slipped 8.6p to 232.8p on news that sales growth has halved from 8 per cent to 4 per cent during the most recent quarter.

New oil reserves have been discovered in the Falkland Islands. Several companies have stakes in the Zebedee well, where reserves were found, but they enjoyed varying fortunes. Premier Oil slipped 0.1p to 133.5p, Falkland Oil & Gas dipped 3.5p to 32p and Rockhopper climbed 0.25p to 64p.

Antibiotic developer Motif Bio had a barnstorming listing, with shares leaping to 30p on the first day of trade after being offered at 20p each. The biopharmaceutical company is working on a drug that will combat bacteria that is resistant to traditional antibiotics.

Indian fashion retailer Koovs tumbled 51p to 66.5p after warning of larger losses than anticipated.