• FTSE 100 gains 64 points
  • Boohoo dips after buying Arcadia-owned brands
  • Wall Street hits fresh record highs

5pm: FTSE ends just higher


The FTSE 100 closed Monday up 34 points, 0.5%, at 6,524, and the FTSE 250 added 20 points, less than 0.1%, to 21,087.


“Stock markets are showing modest gains this afternoon as dealers are hopeful the Biden administration will sign off on the $1.9 trillion relief package as a way of stimulating the US economy,” CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden wrote Monday. “At the back end of last week it was revealed that Democratic politicians set in motion a plan to implement the proposed $1.9 trillion spending plan without support from Republicans… Janet Yellen, the US treasury secretary, predicts the $1.9 trillion spending programme will bring about full employment by the end of 2022.”


Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) shares lost almost 5% to GBP347.50 after the online fashion retailer acquired the e-commerce and intellectual property rights of the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands from the failed Arcadia Group for GBP25.2 million, Madden noted.


In the US, the Dow was up 132 points, 0.4%, to 31,281 at midday. The Nasdaq Composite gained 66 points, 0.5%, to 13,923, and the S&P 500 picked up 13 points, 0.3%, to 3,890. The latter index broke 3,900 for the first time during morning trading, and the Dow Jones also reached a record high.


Yellen has urged US lawmakers to get a relief bill passed quickly, and both the Senate and the House passed a budget resolution on Friday, which begins the process that would allow Democrats to pass the bill without Republican support.


3.52pm: Bitcoin eyes $50k


Gains for the FTSE 100 have been crimped by a recovery in the pound, while over in Wall Street stocks are mostly holding onto their early gains.


Bitcoin is the big focus however, after Tesla’s earlier purchase, and the 15% rise to touch $44,000 has also lifted other related companies.


Cryptocurrency miner Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB), which mined GBP2.5mln worth of digital currency last month, saw its shares lifted 23% to 120p, close to its all-time high from last month.


“Bitcoin has smashed its way to new highs and may soon be eyeing $50,000,” says market analyst Craig Erlam at Oanda.


The electric carmaker’s plans to start accepting the digital currency as payment, further brings Bitcoin into the mainstream both as a form of payment and investment product, following similar moves by PayPal and Square last year.


“Whether there is someone out there that would actually buy a Tesla with Bitcoin now is another thing,” Erlam added.


“Musk has had a lot of fun with cryptocurrencies recently but this is a firm move into the space and carries a lot more weight than an off the cuff tweet.”


Erlam said he thought the week had been “shaping up to be much quieter” but with an encouraging earnings season, better Covid news and a massive stimulus package making its way through Congress, he saw plenty of optimism in the market, helped further by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s assertion that the country could be back to full employment next year if it acts boldly now.




The FTSE is up 52 points or 0.8% at 6,541.19, as sterling recovers from its earlier slide and is now in positive territory against the dollar at 1.3748.


Bottom of the list is Premier Inn hotel owner Whitbread (LON:WTB), followed by retailer JD Sports Fashion (LON:JD.) despite an upgrade earlier, and housebuilder Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV).


Top of the blue chip leaderboard is Russian steel basher Evraz (LON:EVR), followed by oil behemoth BP (LON:BP.).


The FTSE 250 has crawled out of its earlier hole and is now up just a handful of points at almost 21,073.


3.05pm: Proactive North America headlines:


NexTech AR Solutions Corp (NEO:NTAR) (CSE:NTAR) (OTCQB:NEXCF) integrates AI-fueled chat features into its virtual experience platform


Karora Resources Inc (TSE:KRR) (OTCMKTS:KRRGF) (FRA:5RN1) announces “strong” initial gold drill results from Lake Cowan in Western Australia


Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc (CSE:AGN) (OTCQB:AGNPF) (FRA:AGW) inks deal with Charles River Laboratories for preclinical work on DMT for stroke


Loop Insights Inc (CVE:MTRX) (OTCQB:RACMF) to provide its venue management platform to Canadian ski resort in four-year, potentially C$9.6M deal


PharmaDrug Inc (CSE:BUZZ) (OTCPINK:LMLLF) appoints world-renowned chemist and neuroscientist Dr Steven Barker to its scientific advisory board for psychedelic pharmaceuticals


GR Silver Mining says latest results from Plomosas silver project continue to show potential for district-scale mineralization


Victory Square Technologies Inc (CSE:VST) (OTCMKTS:VSQTF) (FRA:6F6) portfolio company GameOn Entertainment appoints new chairman


BTU Metals Corp (CVE:BTU) (OTCMKTS:BTUMF) kicks off 3,500 metre drill program at Dixie Halo in Red Lake


Aurania Resources Ltd (CVE:ARU) (OTCQB:AUIAF) (FRA:20Q) identifies initial drill sites at flagship Lost Cities – Cutucu project in Ecuador


Real Luck Group Ltd (CVE:LUCK) appoints former Electronic Arts executive Thomas Rosander as its Chief Customer Officer


2.46pm: Wall Street starts higher


The main Wall Street indices opened in the green on Monday morning as traders looked optimistically towards more US stimulus to boost the American economy.


Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.49% at 31,302, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.41% to 3,902 and the Nasdaq rose 0.43% to 13,915.


One stock among the early risers was Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), which jumped 2.8% to US$875.25 after unveiling that it has bought US$1.5bn worth of Bitcoin. The price of cryptocurrency also surged on the news, up 13.3% in a 24-hour period at US$43,455 at around 9.35am Eastern Time.


Meanwhile, fellow tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) dropped 1% to US$135.36 after its plans to make an autonomous electric car took a hit following an announcement from South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co which said it is no longer in talks with Apple about the project.


Back in London, the FTSE 100 had given back some of its earlier gains but was still up strongly into late-afternoon, rising 64 points to 6,553 at around 2.45pm.


1.35pm: Stocks outshone by bitcoin


Bitcoin has rocketed to a new record high, topping US$44,000 after Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) boss Elon Musk put his company’s money where his mouth is.


The electric carmaker said in a regulatory filing that as it plans to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment in the future, it has bought US$1.5bn of the cryptocurrency (read more here).


“This is the kind of backing that can take Bitcoin through $50k,” said analyst Neil Wilson at Markets.com.


“Once again it highlights the power that Elon Musk has in shaping price action and moving markets.”




Wilson noted that Tesla’s SEC filing simply says that the investment policy was updated in January 2021 and “thereafter” the company invested an aggregate $1.5bn.


“Timing would appear critical. Tesla also says it may acquire and hold other digital assets,” he said.


“The move will also raise questions for fund managers who may not want to invest in a company with this kind of risk on its balance sheet – we know Bitcoin is very volatile – this is normal FX risk x100. Tesla is now starting to take on big FX risk – this may not worry a lot of investors, but some conservative types might be concerned.”


Meanwhile, the FTSE is up 72 points or 1.1% at 6,561.45.


12.46pm: US stocks to join the party


Wall Street is set to join in the bullish mood in London as traders have an extra spring in their step thanks to hopes about President Biden’s stimulus package.


Just under two hours ahead of the opening bell, the main US stock indices are all seen rising, meaning new all-time highs could be notched up.


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is heading for a lower startm, according to pre-marketing trading, as its plans to enter the automotive sector look to be stalling.


“The reflation trade continues at the start of the new week, on expectations of more US stimulus, ongoing central bank support, and of course hopes that the ongoing COVID vaccine roll outs will reduce infections further and hopefully economies will re-open again in the not-too-distant future,” said market analyst Fawad Razaqzada at ThinkMarkets.


“So, stocks remain on the front-foot with many global indices hitting records or multi-year highs, and Brent Crude Oil has climbed above $60 a barrel for this first time in more than a year on hopes over stronger recovery in demand.”


READ: UK govt mulls ‘Amazon tax’ on healthy online retailers to repay UK debt


The FTSE is one of those stepping higher, up 67 points or 1% at 6,556.2 so far today, but is nowhere near its highs.


Razaqzada says he thinks this underperformance is likely to be short-lived.


“UK stocks have been held back because of the ongoing rally in the pound, which continues to find buyers on dips. Last week, the Bank of England was not very dovish as it looked through short-term risks facing the economy (current lockdowns) and towards slightly normal times ahead and decided to raise its growth forecasts.


“With a no-deal Brexit being avoided and the UK is well ahead of many countries in the race to vaccinate its population, the UK economy could potentially recover quicker and stronger once lockdowns end. Thus, the FTSE should, in my view, go higher over time and catch up with the other European indices.”


Looking at the Footsie graph he says a few technical bull signals have been apparent, with the index was testing its bearish trend line, connecting the recent highs.


With other global indices at record or multi-year highs, the UK index has a lot of catching up to do, with Razaqzada seeing a break above the trend line potentially leading to “renewed technical buying interest, especially as it has also recaptured the old pivotal level of 6515.”


712pm: FTSE powered by resources


The FTSE 100 has led the way today and is still rising, helped by a softer pound and strong gains for mining and oil giants.


London’s blue chip index was up over 71 points or 1.1% to 6,560.69 at midday.


Diversified miner Anglo American (LON:AAL) is top of the leaderboard, followed by rivals BHP (LON:BHP), Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and Glencore (LON:GLEN), along with steel basher Evraz (LON:EVR) and copper-bottomed Antofagasta (LON:ANTO).


Led by oil prices climbing to pre-pandemic highs, BP (LON:BP.) is also in the top ten, with fellow supermajor Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSB) not climbing quite a high.


Crude traders are looking towards a potential recovery in demand, said analyst Russ Mould at AJ Bell.


“This could help add fuel to M&A chatter in the industry after it emerged ExxonMobil and Chevron had held talks over a combination last year.


“The last round of mega-mergers came a little over 20 years ago. However, this time round tie-ups could just double businesses’ problems given the need to transition away from the traditional oil and gas assets which dominate their portfolios as part of a global transition away from fossil fuels.”


Sterling, down 0.3% against the dollar to 1.3691, is also providing a boost for the index’s strong proportion of overseas earnings.


10.45am: South Africa presses pause on Oxford vaccine


London’s blue chip shares are on the front foot this morning, led by miners and financials, despite some coronavirus vaccine worries.


The South African government has decided to stop administering the vaccine developed at Oxford University with the help of AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) after new trials indicated it gave little protection against mild to moderate infection from the South African variant of COVID-19, though it did better against more severe infections.


It’s not just investors in London who are shrugging this off.


“European markets have brushed aside concerns around the AstraZeneca vaccine this morning, with traders instead happy to maintain an optimistic mentality following an impressive first week of February,” said market analyst Joshua Mahony at IG.


“Airlines have been somewhat more sensitive to those vaccine questions, with the lack of protection against the South Africa strain meaning we are likely to see restrictions on travel sustained for some time yet to avoid greater imported cases.”


He said South Africa’s decision to halt use of the Oxford vaccine highlight the risk that the UK “could be focusing too much on a product which offers less protection”.


Focusing on financial markets, the prospect of a Joe Biden getting his big stimulus package over the line, remains a big driver of market optimism.


“Weekend comments from Janet Yellen sought to allay fears of a ramp-up in inflation should the $1.9trn package come to fruition, with the Treasury Secretary noting that the risk is of inaction rather than over-delivering.


“While markets can sometimes reflect economic strength or weakness, Friday’s disappointing jobs report was music to the ears of those seeking to back the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Clearly the US economic picture remains subdued under the weight of the Covid pandemic, and Friday’s numbers provided a timely reminder of the need to act fast.”


The Footsie is up 49 points or 0.75% to 6,537.94.




9.50am: Online retailers slide


While the giants of the Footsie are mostly higher, the more domestically focused FTSE 250 and the small caps of the AIM All Share are both in the red.


The mid-cap index is down 0.4% at 20,981.05 and the AIM index, which reached a post-financial crisis high last week, was down 0.5% at 1,205.


Among AIM’s biggest fallers is Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) despite sealing a GBP25mln deal to scoop up the last remaining brands from Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia group: Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis.


Another is its online shopping rival ASOS PLC (LON:ASC), which Last week acquired Arcadia’s Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands for GBP265mln.


This pair, along with fellow online retailers Ocado (LON:OCDO) and AO World (LON:AO.), are in the red after reports the UK government is mulling a tax raid on companies that have profited from the pandemic.


“This may raise a question about opportunistic tax policy,” said analyst Neil Wilson at Markets.com, “however most people feel online retailers are not paying their fair share and the burden is falling too much on struggling high street stores.


“It’s never made sense that bricks-and-mortar businesses pay more in tax than the very rivals who are stripping away their market share. A possible tax hike aimed squarely at online sales presents a near-term overhang for these stocks, but they remain structurally well positioned to capture more sales as consumer habits continue to shift online.”


As well as AO World, main fallers on the FTSE 250 include high street retailers Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) and Frasers Group (LON:FRAS), along with travel groups FirstGroup (LON:FGP), easyJet (LON:EZJ) and Trainline (LON:TRN).


Traders said this may reflect some concern about the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines against the new South African variant of the virus, following the release of new trials of the AstraZeneca and Oxford University jab over the weekend.


However Wilson said this was being “largely shrugged off” as cases fall, with the FTSE 100 up 46 points or 0.7% at 6,535.27.


8.35am: Positive early momentum


The FTSE 100 made a solid if unspectacular start to the new trading week on Monday.


In early trading, the UK blue-chip index was up 28 points to 6,517.77.


The momentum was gently upward, propelled by hopes of an economic rebound on the back of the coronavirus vaccine roll-out that would be greatly enhanced by the giant US stimulus programme now in the pipeline.


Janet Yellen, the US treasury secretary, claimed the US economy could return to full employment next year if President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package is passed.


“At the back end of last week, the Biden administration put in motion a plan to get the stimulus package signed off without support from Republican lawmakers,” said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.


“President Biden has a history of fostering good relations with politicians from across the aisle as well as seeking consensus on issues but this time he is determined to put the American people first. The stimulus move also helped US equities notch up a record close.”


Closer to home, the miners were well bid on the back of an improving economic outlook. Anglo American (LON:AAL), up 3.3%, led the Footsie, while BHP (LON:BHP), edged 2.1% higher.


Off 1.9% in the early exchanges was Rolls Royce (LON:RR.) following a weekend report that it is ready to put jet engine staff on a summer hiatus as part of a cost-saving exercise.


“With the company being paid on hours flown by the airlines, there could be further pressure on a share price which has dived 60% over the last year,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.


Proactive news headlines:


Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE) told investors that the WR-38Z and WR-16aZ wells at the West Rustavi field have been brought back online safely, with oil and gas now flowing into the field’s Early Production Facility (EPF).


4D pharma PLC (LON:DDDD) clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck KGaA, and Pfizer Inc. As part of the tie-up, 4D pharma will start a clinical trial this year BAVENCIO, a drug for advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma developed by Merck and Pfizer, in combination with 4D’s MRx0518.


ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL; OTCQX:ANPCY) said its liquid biopsy was integral to a study assessing the progression non-small cell lung (NSCL) cancer and understanding why the disease may become resistant to a particular line of treatment.


LoopUp Group PLC (LON:LOOP) has confirmed expectations from a November update that its earnings will more than double in 2020. In a brief trading update for the year to December 31, the conference call and remote meeting technology specialist said earnings (EBITDA) are expected to be around GBP15.3mln, up from GBP6.4mln in 2019, while revenues are forecast to rise to around GBP50.2mln from GBP42.5mln.


Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG) said it has acquired PDT Global, a UK-based provider online of diversity & inclusion (D&I) training solutions, for an initial cash sum of GBP13.2mln.


Pan African Resources (LON:PAF) has advised shareholders of that it expects headline earnings per share to be between US$0.0205 and US$0.0217 when it reports its interim results for the period to end December on 16 February 2021. The increases earnings and headline earnings that the company is expecting to report come as a result of a boost to gold revenues to US$183.8mln, up from US$132mln in 2019. The average gold price received increased by 27.4% to US$1,865 per ounce, as the company sold more gold overall.


Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) said its driver monitoring system (DMS) software, a key enabler to the General Motors Super Cruise driver assistance feature, is now available in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.


Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) has released drill results from definition and step-out drilling at the Minto mine conducted during 2019 and 2020. Drilling was conducted on the Minto North II, Copper Keel South, Copper Keel West, and Copper Keel North areas. Highlights included 38.9 metres grading 1.66% copper and 0.51grams per tonne gold, 15.75 metres grading 1.44% copper and 0.35 grams per tonne, and 21.6 metres grading 1.16% copper and 0.64 grams.


Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF)(TSE:APY) said a softer market for coal has resulted in a lower portfolio contribution, although the drop is also set against the context of a record year in 2019. The 2020 portfolio contribution rebounded strongly in the final quarter as commodity markets started to recover, particularly iron ore and copper which rallied during the second half of 2020 and coking coal prices which continue to recover in 2021, currently trading at around US$156 per tonne.


Avation PLC (LON:AVAP), the commercial passenger aircraft leasing company said it has entered into a new lease for an ATR72-600 for delivery from the factory in Toulouse. Delivery to an existing Asian client airline is expected to occur on or around the 10 March 2021. The lease is for eight years and is at current market rates. The aircraft was previously purchased into inventory in December 2019. In a statement, Jeff Chatfield, executive chairman of Avation, said: “We anticipate that on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that regional travel will improve extremely rapidly, and that ATR aircraft represents the ideal solution for short duration sub 100 seat routes”.


Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) the AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe, has announced the publication of its circular to shareholders concerning the proposed reduction of share capital via a cancellation of the company’s share premium account, the cancellation of the deferred shares and the authority for the company to buy back shares. Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: “This timely circular is being distributed in advance of the completion of our new Joint Venture with Ozaltin and Proccea. The proposed General Meeting concerns a capital reorganisation which will enable the Company to pay a special dividend. Since receiving shareholder ratification of the joint venture agreements signed at the end of last year and the approval received from the Competition Authority in Turkey last month, we are expecting to conclude all remaining formal corporate procedures in the near future. We are continuing to advance rapidly on all fronts and we look forward to keeping the market updated on our progress.”


Greatland Gold PLC (AIM:GGP), the precious and base metals exploration and development company, announced that its new chief executive officer, Shaun Day, has commenced his role at the company. As announced on December 15, 2020, Day succeeds Gervaise Heddle, who will remain on the board and part of the Greatland executive team until March 12, 2021, to ensure a smooth transition. In a statement, Day commented: “I join Greatland at a very exciting time for the business and with a strong platform in place to drive further growth. Greatland will continue to progress its core strategy – advancing Havieron while pursuing value from our other exploration targets with tier-one potential. Beyond this, I intend to apply my experience from growing major mining companies to oversee the development of Havieron and to scale-up the wider business.”


Tissue Regenix Group PLC (LON:TRX) has highlighted a strong performance for 2020 despite the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a trading update for the year to December 31, the regenerative medical devices specialist said revenues for the year will be GBP12.8mln, in line with the prior-year figure of GBP13mln despite the impact of the pandemic, adding that it also ended the period with a “strong cash position” of GBP9.5mln following a fundraising in June.


Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) told investors that the Perseverance-1 exploration well, offshore Bahamas, encountered hydrocarbons but commercial volumes were not discovered.


Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) (CSE:XOP), an international oil and gas exploration and development company announced that it has repaid in cash the balance of the loan from Riverfort Global Opportunities PCC and YA II PN, Ltd announced on June 15, 2020. The remaining balance of GBP400,000 was repaid in cash on February 5, 2020 without penalty. As such, the company has met all of the terms and conditions of the lenders under the loan agreement. In a statement, Arthur Millholland, COPL’s president and CEO, commented: “We would like to thank Riverfort and Yorkville for providing the loan in June of last year which was strategic to the restructuring of the Company. It has allowed us to proceed to where we are today nearing the completion of the Atomic acquisition.”


Mkango Resources Ltd. (LON:MKA) (CVE:MKA) has announced that, further to its announcement on December 21, 2020, it has issued 325,000 shares in the company to Bacchus Capital Advisors Limited in connection with the financial advisory services provided for the period from December 18, 2020 to January 31, 2021. The shares were issued at a deemed price of C$0.27 per share. Mkango said it will issue a further 625,000 shares on December 18, 2021, should its engagement continue with Bacchus continue until such date. The company added that it continues to work closely with Bacchus, whose mandate encompasses mergers and acquisitions, takeover defence, strategic and other financial advice.


CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC), the global internet platform that derives revenue from the subscription sales of domain names and web services, has announced that its bondholder meeting held on January 29, 2021, approved the amendment to the bond terms disclosed in its announcement of January 15, 2021. As a result, Pareto Securities has been mandated to arrange a series of fixed income institutional investor meetings starting the week commencing Monday February 8, 2021, to issue a tranche of bonds with a volume of approximately 15mln euros (US$8mlm). The group said any debt raised will be used for consideration for the acquisition of near-term identified targets.


Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW), the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said on Friday that it has received notices to exercise warrants over 8,860,758 new ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each. It said 3,597,600 warrants are being exercised at a price of 1.0p per ordinary share and 5,263,158 warrants at an exercise price of 0.75p per ordinary share. Subscription monies of GBP75,450 have been received by Power Metal in respect of these exercises.


Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) , the AIM-quoted exploration company focussed on West Africa said that following an exercise of warrants and options over ordinary shares in the company it is issuing 19,188,315 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company, The group noted that 19,138,315 warrants were exercised at 0.68p each and 50,000 options at 0.37 each.


Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO), a minerals exploration and development company, has announced that it will be attending the Mexico Mining Forum from February 10-11, 2021. The digital forum will include a program of networking and informational events that will allow Alien to engage with a vital audience in one if its main countries of operation. Alien currently holds the Donovan 2 copper and gold project and the San Celso and Los Campos silver projects in Zacatecas state, Mexico. The forum typically takes place in Mexico City but will be entirely online for this year’s edition, with thousands of e-business meetings that will bring together industry experts in an effective and targeted networking platform. Bill Brodie Good, CEO & Technical Director of Alien Metals, commented: “Alien’s attendance at the Mexico Mining Forum will be an excellent opportunity for us to directly engage with key stakeholders and investors in the country. We are very excited to be involved and look forward to meeting other attendees from the mining community to both showcase our exciting projects and also to discuss potential further opportunities for Alien in line with our strategy.” Details of the conference can be found at: https://mexicobusinessevents.com/mining/2021


Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX), the drug discovery and development company focused on oncology and fibrosis, announced on Friday that its annual general meeting will be held at 11.00am on March 2, 2021, at Block 33, Mereside, Alderley Park, Macclesfield SK10 4TG. In light of the Stay-at-Home Measures which prohibit all non-essential travel and larger public gatherings and to ensure the safety of the limited number of people whose attendance at the meeting is essential, shareholders will not be allowed into the AGM. Accordingly, shareholders may submit questions related to the business of the AGM to the directors in advance of the meeting. by 5.30pm on February 25, 2021, to Andrew Booth, Redx’s company secretary, by email at [email protected] Following the AGM, the group said its board will respond to any questions submitted by shareholders in advance of the meeting and the answers will be posted on the investor FAQs section of the company website. Shareholders are strongly encouraged to vote by proxy, appointing the chairman of the meeting, using the card distributed with the notice of meeting, to ensure their vote counts. The proxy is also available in the investor resources section of the company’s website: www.redxpharma.com


6.50am: Monday mood positive


The FTSE 100 looks set to open firmly in positive territory on Monday amid hopes of a global economic recovery and renewed optimism over US economic stimulus plans.


The spread betting firms are calling the UK blue-chip index to open 35.5 points higher at 6,524.55.


The UK’s top shares index will take its cue from Asia’s main markets, which were buoyed by the growing pace of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine roll-out allied to falling rates of infection. Here in the UK case numbers have dropped by 25% in a week, while deaths were down by a third at 373, Sunday’s official tally revealed.


The headlines were grabbed by the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab’s seeming inability to protect against the South African mutation of the disease. But even this was given a positive spin with the Anglo-Swedish drug giant seeking to develop a booster by autumn.


AstraZeneca is among a raft of companies reporting this week. The roster also includes travel firm TUI (LON:TUI), online grocer Ocado (LON:OCDO) and Royal Mail (LON:RMG). In the US, there are quarterlies from Coca Cola, Disney and Uber.


The health of the UK economy will be assessed when monthly GDP figures are released on Friday. Before that, we will receive data from the British Retail Consortium and RICS housing statistics.


Across the Atlantic, where President Biden is making preparations for a further economic bail-out, inflation will be in the spotlight on Wednesday in addition to the weekly jobless claims on Thursday and a smattering of consumer sentiment data on Friday.


China begins its new year-Golden Week holiday on February 11 as does Korea while Taiwan starts a day earlier on Wednesday, and most other big economies in the region will be out on Friday.


“The holiday lull is expected to drain the liquidity from the markets, making it a relatively quiet week for market watchers,” said ING.


On the markets:


  • Pound US$1.3732 (flat)
  • Bitcoin US$38,968.12 (up 1.1%)
  • Gold US$1,813.70 (+0.04%)
  • Brent crude US$59.85 (+0.51%)

6.45am: Early Markets – Asia / Australia


Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly higher on Monday as China’s State Administration for Market Regulation released new anti-monopoly guidelines that target internet platforms.


The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.26% while the Shanghai Composite in China rose 1.02%.


In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.12% but South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.79%.


Shares in Australia surged to an11-month high, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing 0.59% higher.


READ OUR ASX REPORT HERE


Proactive Australia news:


Tempus Resources Ltd (ASX:TMR) (CVE:TMRR) is trading higher on receiving strong assays of up to 186 g/t gold from the first 11 drill holes completed as part of phase-I drilling on the Elizabeth sector of Blackdome Elizabeth Gold Project in Canada.


Meteoric Resources NL (ASX:MEI) (FRA:RNF) has received broad high-grade assays from the final seven holes of the maiden 2020 exploration program at Palm Springs Gold Project in Western Australia with mineralisation extended over 360 metres along strike to the southwest of Butchers Creek open-pit.


Bardoc Gold Ltd (ASX:BDC) (FRA:4SF) has intersected extensive zones of shallow gold mineralisation in wide-spaced aircore drilling at its North Kanowna Star Project (NKS), 29 kilometres southeast of the proposed mill and infrastructure of the Bardoc Gold Project, in Western Australia.


Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX:CPH) (OTCMKTS:COPHF) (FRA:1X8) has brought the marketing and sales function of cannaQIX(R) inhouse, taking over from its commercial partner Doetsch Grether in Switzerland, following a growing trend of direct inbound sales enquiries and interest in the product.


Ora Banda Mining Ltd (ASX:OBM) (FRA:M6N) has become a gold producer after it successfully recommissioned the Davyhurst Gold Process Plant, together with its associated site infrastructure, with the first gold poured on Sunday, February 7, 2021.


Firefinch Ltd (ASX:FFX) (OTCMKTS:EEYMF) (FRA:N9F) says ‘Morila the Gorilla is back’ with a new mineral resource estimate of 42.6 million tonnes at 1.6 g/t gold for 2.2 million contained ounces, up from 1.2 g/t gold for 1.3 million ounces.


Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) has received better than expected ionic leach soil sample assays further highlighting the large, top-ranked Apollo and Atlas targets within the wider Paterson Central Project in Western Australia, north of the Havieron gold-copper discovery.


Fenix Resources Ltd (ASX:FEX) has entered into a binding term sheet for a farm-in and joint venture agreement with Scorpion Minerals Ltd (ASX:SCN) for two tenements E20/953 and E20/948, totalling 384 square kilometres, adjacent and contiguous to Fenix’s recently commissioned Iron Ridge Project.


Alta Zinc Ltd (ASX:AZI) (FRA:8EE) has delivered further high-grade cobalt, nickel, copper and silver result from a recent grab sampling program at the Punta Corna Project in northern Italy.

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