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Most followed: Rio Tinto, Glencore, Cairn Energy, Ebola, Tesco...

Iron ore dominates the bulletin boards today after Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) confirmed it had rebuffed an approach from giant trader Glencore (LON:GLEN).

The merger suggestion was made in July, Rio Tinto said, but was rejected as it is confident in its own strategy of ramping up its iron ore production and boosting cashflow.

That has not stopped the tongues wagging, however, that a deal may yet be in the offing.

Glencore is half the size of Rio Tinto, but ambition has not been a problem in the past, while iron ore is the one major commodity missing from its portfolio.

Iron ore itself has been attracting attention in its own right as the price continues its slide on worries over Chinese consumption and rising output from Rio and BHP Billiton’s operations in Pilbara, Australia.

Cairn Energy (LON:CNE) was another featuring strongly today as it finally announced a major discovery after a string of recent failures.

Shares rose almost 9% as the FAN-1 exploration well found between 250mln and 2.5bn barrels of in-place oil in deep water offshore Senegal.

“This result materially upgrades the prospectivity of the block with a proven petroleum system and a number of deep fan and shelf prospects established,” it said.

Ebola was being followed again on reports a nurse in Spain has contracted the deadly disease. 

Airport security specialist Westminster Group (LON:WSG) meanwhile said it believes Gambia Bird is set to resume flights later this month between London and West Africa.

This is undoubtedly good news and there may be more on the way, as organisations such as the International Air Travel Association (IATA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) continue to advocate that no restrictions on air travel are necessary, the company said.

Tesco (LON:TSCO) has reportedly suspended another executive following its shock £250mln profit warning.

Commercial director Kevin Grace has been asked to step down while accountants Deloitte carry out an independent review into the accounting shambles.  UK managing director Chris Bush and three other senior managers were suspended two weeks ago.

KEFI Minerals (LON:KEFI) shares rose almost 10% as it re-activated its mining application for the US$120mln Tulu Kapi project in Ethiopia.

Crucially, Tolassa Shagi, the Ethiopian Minister for Mines, has told KEFI he will fast-track the approval so the work can begin early next year.

Telecoms group Spirent (LON;SPT) saw it shares crash 19% as it is warned revenues for the third quarter are expected to be slightly below $110mln compared to $107.7 million last year. 

Weakened market conditions affecting primarily Networks and Applications will persist through the fourth quarter of 2014, it said. 

Galantas Gold (LON:GAL) wa buzzing for a second day after the Ulster gold mine developer released positive exploration results from the fringes of its Omagh gold mine.

High grade gold has been measured in samples taken from an area of interest  near the southern boundary of the site, the company revealed.

Shares were 21% higher today to follow the more than 50% jump yesterday.


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