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FTSE 100 on front foot as TUI Travel takes the podium


Footsie was on the front foot at the halfway point, up almost 36 points with TUI travel (LON:TT.) the biggest gainer.

Its shares were up 3.59% as the German company TUI AG said its plans for a union with the UK group were still in train.

Investors waved aside disappointing macro data from the Eurozone and were more upbeat as geopolitical fears eased.

G4S (LON:GFS) was the biggest loser, down 2.08% - at 267.8p, while Admiral shares were also down 1.82% after plunging yesterday as its interims underwhelmed the market.

In the mid-capm space Carillion (LON:CLLN) shares rose almost 8% as it unveiled a 5% rise in pre-tax profits for the six months to June 30 to £67.5mln compared with £64.2mln in 2013.

It came as it stepped up its pursuit of rival Balfour Beatty (LON:BBY), whose shares added 1.44%, by attempting to woo major shareholders, saying a £3bn merger would be in their best interests and lead to huge cost savings.

It has also proposed that Balfour Beatty's shareholders receive an additional cash dividend (or equivalent) of 8.5 pence per Balfour Beatty share at the time Balfour Beatty's final 2014 dividend would have otherwise been paid in 2015. 

This would be in addition to the final 2014 dividend they would be entitled to receive as shareholders in the enlarged group.

Also in the mix today was data from the eurozone as the recovery was shown to have halted in its main ecomnomies in the second quarter as growth was shown to be flat.

France and Germany performed worse than expected with German GDP contracting 0.2%, it emerged.

In the junior market, the vibe was less positive. FTSE AIM All share eased 1.14 at 754.53, while FTSE AIM 100 stood at 3228.21, down 10.57.

A standout riser was Caza Oil & Gas (LON:CAZA, CVE:CAZ), whose shares rose over 8%, as it revealed the significant financial impact of rising production as it reported a year-on-year 489% increase in revenues in the second quarter.

Sales of US$6.3mln produced earnings before interest tax and depreciation of US$3.3mln – which compared to a loss of US$824,891 in the comparable period of 2013 and represents a 65% jump on the prior quarter.

Caza said oil and natural gas liquids production increased 495% to 65,823 barrels in the period.Daily production currently stands at 1,315 barrels, which is ahead of forecast.

Kurdistan-focused oil group Genel Energy (LON:GENL) has bought back just over £1.1mln of its shares as it repeated its confidence in the region’s security.

Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, has been the subject of fierce fighting recently between Sunni militant group IS and the now western-backed Kurdish militia.

In a statement, Genel, which has substantial reserves surrounding Erbil, said it was confident in the security of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and in rising cashflows as KRI oil exports continue to grow. Genel shares were lifted 8.3%.

Renewables specialist REACT Energy (LON:REAC)  was lifted almost 40% on the day to 16 pence each. Yesterday, the company revealed it is to tidy up its dormant subsidiaries in Kedco Block Holdings Limited by putting them into liquidation.

All have already ceased trading and the proposed liquidations are a final step in the group's restructuring process, React said.

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