London’s FTSE 250 was 0.6% higher at 17,221.83 in afternoon trade on Monday.
Energean surged to the top of the index after saying it had agreed to exclude Edison E&P’s Norwegian subsidiary from its takeover deal, and cut capital expenditure guidance as oil companies wrestle with a slump in prices amid the coronavirus crisis.
The deal, originally worth $750m, will now cost Energean a gross $284m after ditching Edison’s Algerian assets in April. Capex guidance was cut to $760m – $780m from $840 million.
Drax shares were sharply higher amid speculation the temporary power provider could be a takeover target. The Mail on Sunday suggested Drax could be in early stage talks to be bought by an unnamed energy company. It noted chatter of a 340p a share bid price, valuing the group at £1.35bn.
Travel company TUI and budget airline easyJet were also on the rise. IG analyst Joshua Mahony said investors seemed happy to jump aboard travel stocks ahead of a surge in European travel for the month ahead.
“With Johnson set to announce a host of countries within which UK travellers can visit without the need of a quarantine on return, we are seeing some optimism that demand could pick up as the government essentially provides the go-ahead for summer holiday plans,” he said.
Carnival was weaker after saying it will pay a hefty 7.5% on top of interbank rates to borrow $2.8bn (£2.3bn) to shore up the embattled cruise operator’s finances as the Covid-19 crisis casts doubts on its future.
William Hill was on the back foot after a parliamentary committee said the government and the gambling watchdog have an “unacceptably weak understanding” of the harm that gambling can do and how to tackle it.
FTSE 250 – Risers
Energean (ENOG) 504.00p 13.64%
Drax Group (DRX) 245.00p 9.77%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 53.75p 5.60%
Hammerson (HMSO) 86.56p 5.41%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 380.70p 5.19%
easyJet (EZJ) 681.60p 4.60%
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 770.00p 4.05%
BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust (BRSC) 1,318.00p 3.94%
Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 1,256.00p 3.80%
Royal Mail (RMG) 170.80p 3.52%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Cineworld Group (CINE) 58.14p -9.27%
Provident Financial (PFG) 165.90p -4.87%
Carnival (CCL) 921.60p -4.85%
BMO Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 65.70p -4.78%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 205.20p -4.20%
William Hill (WMH) 117.90p -4.03%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 872.00p -3.70%
Greggs (GRG) 1,627.00p -3.33%
AJ Bell (AJB) 371.50p -3.13%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 62.40p -3.11%