Market Report: Thomas Cook travels in right direction

It has flogged stakes in its Indian business, Spanish and Belgium hotels and some of its aircraft fleet. But analysts reckon its insurance business could be next on the block for leisure group Thomas Cook. A note from Exane BNP Paribas said the holiday group still owns some valuable assets, and highlighted its insurance division, White Horse, and its 6 per cent stake in Nats, the air traffic control service, as likely sale fodder. Exane thinks the assets could raise another £160m.

Exane upgraded the stock from underperform to neutral, with an increase in the target price to 25p from 15p. Analysts think its restructuring "is well on track", and the newly appointed management are due to "unveil further costs reduction and a long-term strategy on 28 November".

The note helped its shares to book gains of 1.75p to 21.25p. Exane did warn that the "mass-market tour operating industry remains fundamentally unattractive", and said the stock remains a risky call, but thinks the "risk/reward has become more attractive and some of our concerns are dissipating".

Exane's analysts are the latest to see a ray of sunlight from the tour operator. Last month Nomura upgraded its share price target.

BP's deal to sell its half of TNK-BP to Rosneft failed to help its shares. The deal will increase BP's 1.25 per cent stake in Rosneft to 19.75 per cent, but BP lost 6.95p to 443.45p.

The FTSE 100 failed to hang on to gains made mid-morning, and finished down 13.24 points to 5,882.91, but gold-miners were glistening as the price of gold hovered above $1,720 an ounce, recovering from last week's month low. Randgold Resources shone its way up to the top of the leaderboard, up 200p to 7,615p.

Joining the miners as risers, banks edged up as a better outlook for the eurozone encouraged investors toward riskier stocks. But Royal Bank of Scotland only managed a 0.5p gain to 281.5p as Investec's banking expert, Ian Gordon, downgraded its share price target to 255p and gave it a sell rating.

The wooden spoon went to the temporary power supplier Aggreko. It got covered in red pen from no less than five brokers who reduced their share price targets after last week's profit warning. HSBC downgraded the stock from neutral to underweight, with a target price slashed from 2,350p to 1,750p. But Jefferies' scribes claimed the third-quarter update was a "speed bump, not a slowdown", and retained their buy rating with a reduced target price for the shares of 2,535p. Its shares were down 64p to 2,073p.

Takeover talk is blustering around the wind turbine blades maker Morgan Crucible. City scribblers reckon the carbon and ceramics components maker is "vulnerable" after it issued a profit warning at its third-quarter results this month, and lookslike a takeover target.

Analysts at Jefferies said "there would appear to be interest in the sector", noting "US-based 'peer' Ceradyne was recently bid for by 3M". Jefferies also highlighted that the engineer has form: "in late 2006, the group was subject to an approach from an unnamed bidder". Despite the latest bid chatter, Jefferies scribes gave Morgan Cruicble a hold rating and a share price target of 260p, cut from 300p.

Its shares have lost more than 35 per cent in the past month as bad news from engineering sector peers hit investor sentiment, while its profit warning on 12 October sent the shares down further. Its shares lost another 0.9p to 239.6p, and it is at its lowest valuation relative to earnings for three years, according to Bloomberg.

Bid rumours resurfaced at the online fashion business Asos over the weekend. Reports that the US giant Amazon could be taking a look sent the shares up 73p to 2,510p ahead of its half-year results on Thursday. The group, which will welcome M&S's Kate Bostock in the new year to lead its product and trading team, is expected to reveal continued solid growth.

The retail guru Nick Bubb noted that with the market cap of Asos now around £2bn, "mighty Amazon has left it a bit late to start looking at the business … but whatever happens, the 27 per cent stake in Asos built up by the Danish fashion group Bestseller is looking cannier by the day."

OMG – no, not the popular and annoying exclamation Oh my God – we are talking about Aim-listed OMG (Oxford Metrics Group). The technology group shot up 5.9p to 30.1p after revealing a positive trading update.

FTSE 100 Risers

Fresnillo 1,916p (up 24p, 1.27 per cent) The price of gold recovered from its biggest one-day drop in more than three months last week and moved up to around $1,720 an ounce. The Mexican gold and silver miner was boosted by the move.

Lloyds Banking Group 40.81p (up 0.33p, 0.8 per cent) Along with miners, banking stocks beat the index and were propped up by positive signals from the eurozone.

FTSE 100 Fallers

Petrofac 1,578p (down 37p, 2.29 per cent) Scribes at Liberum Capital downgraded the oil services firm from "buy" to "hold". But they retained their share target price of 1,703p.

Johnson Matthey 2,280p (down 49p, 2.1 per cent) Citigroup analysts reduced their share price target for the chemicals group to 2,700p due to slowing car and truck markets, mainly in Europe, and lower recycling volumes.

FTSE 250 Risers

Homeserve 239.1p (up 8.1p, 3.51 per cent) Punters piled in to the emergency repair group that describes itself as the "the fifth emergency service". But investors are still awaiting the outcome of a Financial Service Authority inquiry.

Essar Energy 136.7p (up 4.5p, 3.4 per cent) Last week Morgan Stanley gave the power group a "buy" rating with a 170p share price target and its shares continued to gush up.

FTSE 250 Fallers

William Hill 347.9p (down 9.6p, 2.69 per cent) The bookie got a price target upgrade from Deutsche Bank to 390p from 350p, but it didn't save it from lingering around the bottom of the index.

Fidessa Group 1,341p (down 31p, 2.26 per cent) The supplier of trading systems to City brokers said sales for the full year will be flat, and it got a share price target reduction to 1,400p from Canaccord Genuity.

Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Enner Valencia
footballStriker has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame via winning the title with ‘The Blue Ballet’ in Ecuador
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

The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

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

Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

Marketing Manager

£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities