Oil stocks have weighed on the FTSE 100 as crude prices dipped but a surge in the shares of serviced office space provider IWG (IWG) lifted 'mid caps'.
Financials, however, climbed towards six-month highs, nudged upwards by strong results from US banks JP Morgan (JPM.N) and Wells Fargo (WFC.N) last week.
Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was up 45 points at 19,757 with IWG shares jumping 18% to 326p on news of the sale of its Japanese operations for £320 million, along with a double upgrade from Credit Suisse.
‘The structure of the deal also effectively amounts to a franchise agreement with Tokyo-listed TKP (3479.T) buying the right to use IWG’s brands alongside the physical offices themselves,’ said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
‘Franchise businesses are often seen as attractive by investors as they have the capacity for significant growth without substantial demands on capital.
Energean Oil & Gas (ENOG) gained 10% at 855p as the Mediterranean-focused energy company announced a new gas discovery at its Karish North exploration well.
Kier (KIE) rose 3% to 360p, after the construction outsourcer’s newly appointed chief executive Andrew Davies outlined a strategic review for the business, with plans to cut its debt and address other outsourcing industry issues.