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Bahamas Petroleum gushes as it quashes fundraising speculation

A look at some of the major risers and fallers in London on Thursday

Clear Leisure PLC - Clear Leisure ascends after nabbing 20% of Italian crowdfunder

Oil and gas explorer Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) gushed 38% higher to 1.9p in late-afternoon as the firm refuted speculation that it was considering an imminent fundraising.

The firm said it had “multiple funding options available” to fund its exploration in the island nation and that raising funds through a private placing with institutional investors at or below the current share price did not “compare favourably” with other financing options.

Elsewhere on the junior market, shares in NetScientific PLC (LON:NSCI) shot up 68% to 1.5p after it emerged that a drug developed by one of its portfolio companies will take a key role in a phase II clinical study planned by industry giant Merck.

PDS Biotechnology’s PDS0101 will be trialled in harness with Merck’s top-selling immunotherapy, KEYTRUDA, as a front-line treatment for recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer and the high-risk human papillomavirus-16 infection. The move essentially fast-tracks PDS0101.

A riser on the main market was equipment hire firm Speedy Hire PLC (LON:SDY), which jumped 3.1% to 53.2p as it forecast that the second half of its 2019/20 financial year will be stronger than the first.

The company said it had secured a number of contract wins in the first half of the year. from which it will begin to derive benefit in the latter six month period

The board also said full-year profit before tax was expected to be in line with expectations.

1.40pm: Hochschild heads underground after UBS price cut

Mid-cap miner Hochschild Mining Plc (LON:HOC) found itself in the hole in early afternoon after a target price cut from UBS sent the shares sliding 5.7% to 187.8p.

The Swiss bank cut their target for FTSE 250 Hochschild to 250p from 260p, having said in a note on Wednesday that the recent acquisition of the BioLantanidos rare earth deposit in Chile for US$56.3mln was an “incremental negative” for the company’s investment case.

“Apart from being located in the same continent, we struggle to see significant strategic benefits and do not believe surface mining/quarrying of Rare Earth's leverages [Hochschild’s] core skill set”, UBS said, adding that they expected the project to be “poorly understood and undervalued by the market”.

In the risers, AIM-listed biotech Summit Therapeutics PLC (LON:SUMM, NASDAQ:SMMT) bounced 9.8% to 28p after the company said its next-generation antibiotic “significantly improved” the short- and long-term quality of life of people with c.difficile infection when compared with the current standard of care.

The positive headline data for the company’s drug Ridinilazole came from a phase II clinical trial called CoDIFy and were detailed in a poster presentation at the ID Week 2019 conference being held in Washington DC.

Delegates were told patients enjoyed statistically significant improvements in physical and mental health with the benefits seen in as little as five days.

11.40am: Avesoro reports pit wall failure at its New Liberty mine in Liberia

Avesoro Resources Inc (LON:ASO) declined 7.9% to 87.5p after a pit wall and ramp failure occurred in the Kinjor pit at its New Liberty mine.

Mercifully, there were no injuries or equipment damage arising from the failure; however, mining activities within the Kinjor-East pit have been suspended pending an assessment of the impact of the pit wall failure.

Mining is continuing at the Marvoe and Kinjor-South pits at New Liberty but ore production volumes will be reduced for some time as a result of the latest incident, Avesoro warned.

10.40am: Zotefoams warns of a significant deterioration in its European markets

Zotefoams PLC (LON:ZTF) saw its shares flop in mid-morning after the foam and insulation maker warned of a hit to its second-half sales.

The group said that a “significant” deterioration in its European markets, as well as a slower than expected growth in North America, meant its sales for the period would be £6mln below market estimates, with a corresponding impact to profits.

While Zotefoams remained confident of its strategy despite the headwinds of a “less stable political and macroeconomic environment”, investors were less convinced as the shares plunged 36.5% to 340p.

Clothing retailer Ted Baker plc (LON:TED) was also looking shabby after a swing to loss in its first half drove the stock down 35.5% to 597p.

The company blamed its woes on “unprecedented levels” of discounting on the high street, with chairman David Bernstein saying that if current trends continued the group’s second-half performance would be lower than its performance in the prior year.

Elsewhere, AIM-listed MTI Wireless Edge Ltd (LON:MWE) bounced 2.6% higher to 32p after it won orders worth just over US$1mln for the supply of military antennas to an existing Israeli customer.

9.15am: Clear Leisure ascends after nabbing 20% of Italian crowdfunder

Investment firm Cloud Leisure PLC (LON:CLP) was relaxing in early trading after its shares jumped 15% to 0.2p on the back of news it had purchased a 20% stake in an Italian crowdfunding platform.

The AIM-listed group paid £188,709 for its new stake in ForCrowd, adding that it would now receive a 1% referral fee for all clients and investors it introduced to the platform.

Unlike most crowdfunding platforms, which focus on fundraisings for individuals or small organisations, ForCrowd is aiming to target more mature firms with financing goals of between €500,000 and €1mln, focusing particularly on real estate, energy and technology projects.

Fellow small-cap firm Tissue Regenix Group PLC (LON:TRX) was also looking healthy, rising 3% to 3.4p after it unveiled a product extension based on DermaPure, the company’s technology for skin repair, or reinforcement.

DermaPure Non-Oriented has two identical sides, meaning the orientation of the graft is not a factor during implantation, making it easier to apply.

It will be used in uro-gynecological (female pelvic medicine) and will be sold by partner and specialist distributor, ARMS Medical.

In the fallers, mid-cap gold miner Centamin PLC (LON:CEY) lost some of its shine, falling 5.7% to 118p, as its chief executive Andrew Pardey said he intended to leave next year.

The company also warned that production for the first nine months of 2019 is lower than expected at 331-332,000 ounces, but said the lower end of its full-year guidance range of 490,000 ounces “remains achievable”.

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