Market Report: Loose lips at Tullow lift shares with good news

 

Just as dealers yesterday were preparing to head off to the pub, up popped an announcement from Tullow Oil. If there was any annoyance on trading desks at the lateness of the statement, then they could console themselves with the fact that the blue-chip explorer's day wasn't exactly going to plan.

A rather red-faced Tullow admitted that while chatting to investors in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Friday it had accidentally let slip an update on the progress of its Ngamia-1 well in the country.

Quickly realising the mistake, the group rushed out a clarifying statement. In it, Tullow revealed that the latest drilling of the well, which has already discovered black gold, had now found oil and gas reservoirs at a depth of between 1,800 metres and 1,940 metres.

Although it was quick to caution that the well would take another three weeks to be completed, the reaction was positive as – with Fox-Davies Capital's Alexander Ogbechie saying the update "surely bodes well for shareholders" – the stock spurted up 32p to 1,395p.

A choppy week ended with the FTSE 100 edging up just 1.48 points to 5,351.53 as positive consumer confidence figures from the States countered the news that shares in the Spanish bank Bankia had been suspended.

Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland did not get off quite so lightly, however, with their shares dropping 1.11p to 25.8p and 0.57p to 20.87p respectively.

In the wider financial sector, Exane BNP Paribas' Andy Hughes had some recommendations for Aviva.

The insurer has already promised to get rid of underperforming parts of the company, and Mr Hughes suggested it should package its Asian businesses together with its eastern European operations and float them, estimating such a collection could be worth more than £2bn.

The analyst also claimed that Aviva's share price had fallen too far and recommended buying the stock, despite warning that the City's earnings forecasts were too high while he expected the dividend to be cut.

In response it touched a high of nearly 279p during trading, although by the bell it was just 0.4p ahead at 268.4p.

Meanwhile, rival Admiral was doing even better, shooting up 32p to 1,116p to take top spot on the benchmark index amid optimism over whiplash claims.

Those who are hoping that Glencore will improve the terms of its all-share merger with Xstrata will not have been cheered by the latest thoughts from analysts at Liberum Capital.

Saying they still believed the chances of the commodities trader (5.35p worse off at 340.65p) upping the offer were low, they added that there were now "larger downside risks for... shareholders in the increasingly unlikely event that the deal is voted down" as the Anglo-Swiss miner dipped 22.4p to 912.6p.

On the leaderboard, support from HSBC's scribblers – who decided that Aggreko was now worth buying – saw the temporary power supplier spark up 50p to 2,157p. Another being helped by positive broker comment was United Utilities, with the water firm gushing up 6p to 643.25p after analysts from both Nomura and Barclays raised their target prices, to 715p and 665p respectively.

On the FTSE 250, Cape suffered a torrid reaction to the news it was taking a one-off £14m hit on a huge liquefied natural gas project in Algeria. With the sum worth a fifth of its adjusted, pre-tax profit last year, the industrial services group plunged 118.5p – or 36 per cent – to 205p, a level it has not seen for more than two-and-a-half years.

Another big faller was Indonesian miner Bumi. The group, which was co-founded by financier and Bullingdon Club alumnus Nat Rothschild, retreated 38.6p to 360.3p to set a new, all-time low after Nomura cut its target price to 860p, citing lower coal price expectations.

After the Scottish parliament on Thursday backed plans for a minimum alcohol price, Numis' Douglas Jack reiterated his belief Wetherspoons will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the measure. However, this didn't stop the pub chain – founded by its chairman, Tim Martin – creeping down 1.3p to 386.5p.

On Aim, agricultural firm Agriterra raced up 0.44p to 3.9p after the penny stock revealed that the Sudanese government had agreed to pay £11.37m in compensation for work done in its previous incarnation as White Nile, the oil and gas explorer founded by former English cricketer Phil Edmonds.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

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

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all