FTSE 100 Rises in Early Trade; Miners Gain

0857 GMT - The FTSE 100 index rises 0.3% to 7278.12 in early trade, tracking rises in other European stocks and following Monday's rise in U.S. equities. "The AI hype train continues to push Nvidia higher ahead of its results on Wednesday and that helped give U.S. stocks a lift overnight, a move which was followed by European stocks on Tuesday morning," writes AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould. However, a "very high bar" is being set for Nvidia's results, raising the risk of disappointment, he says. Gains are limited by concerns about China and ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole on Friday. Miners are among the biggest risers, with Fresnillo shares up 1.8% and Glencore shares up 1.5%. (jessica.fleetham@wsj.com)


Microsoft Proposes New Deal for Activision Takeover to UK's Antitrust Body

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said that Microsoft has submitted a new deal to buy Activision after the original was blocked and the deal was prohibited on a worldwide basis.


John Wood Group Pretax Loss Narrows on Stronger Revenue; CFO to Retire

John Wood Group said its pretax loss narrowed in the first half of the year, while revenue and earnings grew, and that its chief financial officer will retire.


Lookers Pretax Profit Fell on Higher Finance Costs

Lookers reported a lower pretax profit for the first half on the back of higher finance costs.


Cake Box' Positive Momentum Continues Into New Year; Chair Nilesh Sachdev to Step Down

Cake Box Holdings has seen continued positive momentum over the first half of the new fiscal year and is on track to meet revenue market forecasts for the year as a whole.


Seeing Machines Revenue Beat Market Views on Surge in Technology Uptake

Seeing Machines said it expects to report that revenue for fiscal 2023 topped market views after the number of cars with the company technology installed more than doubled on year.


Mirriad Advertising Pretax Loss Narrows; Sees Cash Runway to August 2024

Mirriad Advertising reported a narrowed pretax loss for the first half thanks to higher revenue and lower expenses, and estimated it has a cash runway to the end of August 2024.


Powerhouse Energy Raises GBP1 Mln to Fund New Welsh Technology Center

Powerhouse Energy Group has raised 1 million pounds ($1.3 million) via a share placing and will use the money toward a new technology center in Bridgend, Wales.


Empresaria Group Says Market Remains Challenging; Pretax Profit Falls

Empresaria Group on Tuesday reported a lower adjusted pretax profit and income in the first half, and said the market has shown little sign of improvement for the rest of the year.


Microsoft Submits Revised Activision Deal to U.K. Watchdog -- WSJ

By Kim Mackrael


Gem Diamonds Cuts Production Views on Operational Issues at Lesotho Mine

Gem Diamonds lowered its full-year guidance for diamonds treated at its Letseng mine in Lesotho after slowing the throughput at the processing plant to mitigate certain operational issues.


Frenkel Topping Group 1H Revenue Rose; Says It Is Upbeat for 2023

Frenkel Topping Group said Tuesday that revenue increased in the first half and that it is optimistic for 2023.


RUA Life Sciences Shares Jump on Costs Running Lower Than Expected

Shares in RUA Life Sciences jumped Tuesday after the company said its overall costs are lower than expected thanks to tight controls, leading to cash resources being ahead of budget.


STM Group Gets Further Extension for PSF Capital Takeover Plan

The U.K. Takeover Panel has extended the deadline for PSF Capital Reserve to make an offer for STM Group, or walk away, until Sept. 5 so that the parties can continue talks and the due diligence process.


Team17 Nonexecutive Chair Chris Bell to Step Down, Frank Sagnier Named

Team17 Group Nonexecutive Chair Chris Bell plans to step down at the end of this year to focus on other business interests, and will be replaced by Frank Sagnier.


Anexo Group Former CFO Mark Bringloe Returns as Interim CFO

Anexo Group said Mark Bringloe will be returning to the group as interim chief financial officer, having previously held the role between 2018 and July 2022.


Pittards Files Second Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators

Pittards has filed a second notice of intention to appoint administrators to provide protection against creditors for a further 10 business days, the company said Tuesday.


United Oil & Gas COO Jonathan Leather to Step Down at the End of August

United Oil & Gas said its Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director Jonathan Leather will step down on Aug. 31, and the search for his successor is underway


Omega Diagnostics Finance Director Steps Down

Omega Diagnostics Group Finance Director Chris Lea has stepped down with immediate effect.


Swedish Battery Maker Northvolt Raises $1.2 Bln For Factory Expansion

STOCKHOLM--Swedish battery maker Northvolt has raised $1.2 billion from investors including BlackRock and Canadian pension firms ahead of a planned expansion in Europe and North America, it said Tuesday.


DP Eurasia Filing Bankruptcy for Russia Business Allows Room to Focus on Turkey

0859 GMT - DP Eurasia filing bankruptcy for its Russian business reduces both macro and political risks, although the sale of the operations would have been a better option, Liberum analysts Wayne Brown and Anubhav Malhotra say in a note. The decision will free up management to focus on significant opportunities in Turkey, they say. "The Turkish business remains free-cash-flow generative, and we would still expect leverage to come down at the end of 2023 despite the repayment of the Russian debt," the analysts say. Liberum has a buy rating on the stock and a target price of 140 pence. (michael.susin@wsj.com)


John Wood's Future to Hinge on Energy Transition

0851 GMT - John Wood Group's first-half results were a step in the right direction, though navigating the energy transition remains pivotal for future success, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a market comment. "The main driver of the better first-half performance was tight control of costs, no mean feat given how volatile the backdrop has been," he adds. Longer term, the London-listed consulting and engineering company needs overcome its challenge of adapting to the energy transition if it wants to continue being a big provider to North Sea oil-and-gas firms, he says. "Get it right and there could be big opportunities for the company to help its client base through this process." Shares are up 4.1% at 154.20 pence. (christian.moess@wsj.com)


UK Government Borrowing Numbers Put Future Tax Cuts in Play

0842 GMT - U.K. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt may still be urging caution and fiscal responsibility, but privately he must be letting out a sigh of relief after government borrowing numbers give him a bit of wiggle room to consider crowd-pleasing tax cuts before the next election, Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell, says in a note. Public-sector borrowing undershot expectations in July considerably, thanks in part to an increased tax take from self-assessment returns and higher VAT contributions, she says. However, with unemployment rising and growth sluggish, there is a risk the tax take will be a casualty and if the cost-of-living crisis doesn't ease there will be more pressure on the government to step in once again, Hewson adds. (edward.frankl@wsj.com)


Microsoft's Revised Activision Proposal Looks Like a Step in Right Direction for UK Approval

0836 GMT - Microsoft's new proposal to the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority regarding its planned Activision Blizzard acquisition is a step in the right direction toward regulatory approval, but it isn't a done deal just yet, Interactive Investor's Victoria Scholar says in a note. Under the new proposal, Microsoft won't be able to release Activision Blizzard's games exclusively on its own cloud streaming service, opening up this offering to the wider market, she notes. "Microsoft is hoping that this will appease the CMA and address its concerns over competition, potentially allowing the tie-up to cross the line this time," Scholar adds. (michael.susin@wsj.com)


Neometals' Deal With Mercedes-Benz Validates Business Model, RBC Says

0832 GMT - Neometals' purchase order from Mercedes-Benz opens the door for its joint venture to become the German luxury-vehicle company's recycling partner as it scales up its recycling solution, RBC analyst Tyler Broda writes in a research note. This "could lead to a material royalty or equity partnership should this 10 [metric] tons-per-day plant perform inline with expectations," he adds. Although the profits on this transaction should be limited--financial details weren't disclosed--the deal provides validation of the London and Australia-listed miner's business model, he says. "We continue to see Neometals as an attractive exposure to the rapidly growing subsector of lithium battery recycling." RBC rates the stock at outperform with a 95-pence price target. Shares are up 5.8% at 27.50 pence. (christian.moess@wsj.com)


UK Borrowing Figures May Boost Headroom for Tax Cuts

0827 GMT - U.K. borrowing figures may offer some fiscal leeway, Investec economist Ellie Henderson writes in a note. July borrowing came in at GBP4.3 billion, below forecasts, and leaving borrowing well below watchdog estimates for the financial year so far, Henderson notes. Ahead of an approaching general election, this arguably increases the govenrment's headroom for tax cuts, she says. Nevertheless, some major drains on the public books--such as pensions costs--lie ahead, and the government still has its work cut out to keep finances healthy, Henderson says. (joshua.kirby@wsj.com; @joshualeokirby)

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-22-23 0519ET