Market Report: City spends energy on oil and gas talk - Sharewatch - Business - The Independent

Market Report: City spends energy on oil and gas talk

Oil and gas explorers on both sides of the Channel were flaring up on City takeover chatter. BG Group has been a takeover target since its shares lost around 20 per cent after warning on production forecasts at the beginning of the month.

The group is said to have hired bankers Rothschild and Goldman Sachs to help it handle any hostile takeover attempt. And the latest City whisper is that a bid is about to be put to these advisers.

Speculation previously linked Brazil's energy giant Petrobras and Royal Dutch Shell to the group. But City traders were also busy connecting Shell to another oil and gas group – French oil explorer Etablissements Maurel et Prom.

Exane BNP Paribas' Special Situations team reckon Maurel's boss, Jean-François Hénin, has a "major incentive" to "sell the company" before June next year and China's Sinopec Group (China Petrochemical Corporation) has already been rumoured to be in talks. Traders have floated a share-price target of between €15 and €20. Shell's interest is said to have been piqued by Maurel's African holdings including those in Gabon and Mozambique.

BG Group surged 11p to 1,031p. Shell ended down 3.5p to 2,132p. Maurel edged up €0.15 to €11.72.

Still on the Anglo French theme – Nomura's analysts took a look at Kingfisher.

They admit that the UK may be cutting back on DIY jobs, but despite sales in the UK dropping, the domestic market is still offsetting declines at retailer Kingfisher's French businesses of Castorama and Brico Dépôt.

Nomura's Sunita Entwisle retained her "hold" rating on B&Q owner Kingfisher and said: "Market data suggests that DIY in the French market has weakened with consumer uncertainty following the new budget and a fall in housing starts given changes in buy-to-let incentive plans."

But she thinks the UK has fared better and "with further cost savings and gross margin gains … estimates UK earnings of £61m".

Kingfisher will update the market with third-quarter results next week.

The French market is looking ever weaker and Ms Entwisle said that if the weak trade "drives further cost savings and self-help measures, we think there could be upside to our discounted cash flow valuation".

She gave the stock a share price target of 287p. Kingfisher built up a 1.3p loss to 277.9p.

Kingfisher will have to realise there are still no signs of a French recovery – credit-rating agency Moody's downgraded France's triple-A rating, blaming an uncertain fiscal outlook and deteriorating economy. It reduced its sovereign credit rating by one notch to AA1.

With the eurozone crisis back in focus and a crucial meeting on Greek debt underway the FTSE 100 index saw a volatile day of trade. But it recovered morning losses when news that a ceasefire in Gaza was imminent lifted investor sentiment. The benchmark index ended up 10.44 points to 5,748.10.

The luxury goods brand Burberry was back in fashion and traders put its 33p gain to 1,247p down to short sellers in the stock being squeezed.

Hotels group Intercontinental Hotels booked in a place toward the top of the Footsie after analysts at Barclays Capital raised it to overweight and gave it a share-price target of 1,825p, up from 1,730p, on the hope it will sell some of its assets. Its shares checked in a 43p gain to 1,633p.

On the mid-cap index, platinum miner Lonmin completed its $817m (£513m) rights issue and listed 365,497,663 new shares. The shares closed the day before at 515p but were up more than 13 per cent on the day – closing up 36.77p to 310.7 p – above the theoretical ex-rights price of 274p.

Analysts at Panmure Gordon gave it a "buy" rating and said: "Our new (ex-rights) target price of 506p... with balance sheet uncertainty now addressed we believe (the current share price) provides an excellent entry point for new investors."

Scottish-based Energy Assets reported a 38 per cent jump in first-half profits and unveiled a contract with Dong Energy to supply its industrial and commercial customers. The gas meter specialist's shares ticked up 7p to 191p.

A profit warning from BrainJuicer sent the online market research group to the bottom of the Aim index, losing 99.5p to 256p.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skies as 007 for first time
Sport
footballThe latest scores and news from Dortmund vs Arsenal and Liverpool vs Ludogorets
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
Life and Style
techCriminals now targeting e-readers
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashion
Travel
news This video may make you think twice about ever taking the Tube again
Life and Style
A spider is seen in its web on September 16, 2014 in Hohen Meissner, Germany.
tech The 'Spider in Da House' app has been developed by scientists to tackle arachnophobia
Life and Style
fashionIncredibly, it hasn't been branded 'Will.eye.am'
News
A plane flies close to the eruption of the Icelandic volcano
newsAnd yes, it's quite something
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

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week