Admiral Group Plc (LSE:ADM) and Direct Line Insurance (LSE:DLG) Group PLC both dipped 1% to 2,985p and 279.9p respectively after a steep fall in car insurances.
Comprehensive premiums dropped by 16% in the third quarter, the worst in seven years, as fewer cars on the roads due to COVID-19 restrictions led to a lower number of claims.
The latest car insurance price index by Confused.com and Willis Towers Watson showed that the average car insurance now costs GBP514 a year.
But prices could start to rise again as workers return to the office and road traffic increases following the lifting of lockdown restrictions, although the price outlook for 2022 is “extremely uncertain” due in part to supply chain disruptions, the survey report said.
2.30pm: Ariana Resources rises after Turkish governments approves report for Tavsan gold-silver mine
Ariana Resources PLC (AIM:AAU) leapt 9% to 4.58p after receiving approval for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Tavsan gold-silver mine in Western Turkey.
The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning approved the EIA, allowing for the development of Tavsan, which is targeting production of up to 30,000 ounces of gold per annum over eight years.
Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic, a company 23.5%-owned by Ariana, will manage the development programme, with construction expected to begin following the receipt of final permits.
1.25pm: Poolbeg Pharma edges higher after applying for UK patents
Poolbeg Pharma PLC (AIM:POLB) edged 5% higher to 10.73p after making new UK patent filings for its PredictViral diagnostic platform.
The latest applications aim to protect the method of predicting whether an individual has been exposed to a respiratory virus, the severity of the disease and whether the person is likely to be contagious.
In the meantime, the company will continue to commercialise the product, which has been designed to provide medical staff with a risk score for recently infected patients who are likely to experience a severe form of the disease.
PredictViral is being developed to be used to detect respiratory viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinoviruses that cause over half of all common colds.
12.05pm: Invinity Energy in demand after update on Energy Superhub Oxford project
Invinity Energy PLC (AIM:IES) was up 7% to 101p at noon after revealing that the first phase of the Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project’s flow battery is now installed and energised.
The manufacturer of vanadium flow batteries is working with its project partners – developer Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, global technology company Wartsila, battery trading platform Habitat Energy and power electronics supplier Gamesa Electric – to commission the full system in preparation for service delivery to the UK grid.
Comprising nine Invinity VS3 flow batteries, this first battery cluster has enough capacity to serve the daily electricity needs of over 200 UK households. Energising this cluster, the first of three that will ultimately deliver a total of over 5 MWh, marks progress towards building the UK’s largest flow battery.
11.10am: MyCelx Technologies (AIM:MYXR) surges after securing new Middle East contract
MyCelx Technologies (AIM:MYXR) Corporation surged 13% to 38.5p in the late morning after unveiling a second significant contract win in the Middle East this year.
The clean water and air technology company said it will bring in revenue of US$1mln, mostly to be recognised next year.
The group has been operating in Saudi Arabia in ten years.
10am: QinetiQ tops mid-cap fallers following supply chain woes
QinetiQ (LSE:QQ.) Group PLC topped the FTSE 250 fallers in mid-morning, losing 9% to 300p after lamenting technical and supply chain problems on a large programme.
The defence group said if the problems are not mitigated it might need to perform a one-off write-down to its short-term guidance.
QinetiQ is working closely with the programme’s customer and is making progress towards recovery of the programme and mitigating this risk to less than GBP15mln.
Other than that, performance in the six months to the end of September was in line with market consensus expectations.
9am: Tekcapital higher after hailing US authorities statement on cutting salt use in food industry
Tekcapital PLC (LSE:TEK) was an early riser on Thursday, jumping 14% to 31.25p after noting that the US Food and Drug Administration has just released voluntary sodium reduction goals for the food industry.
The investor said this is great news for its portfolio company Salarius, which makes MicroSalt for B2B channels and SaltMe! crisps for retail.
“We’re very excited to see the FDA take a leadership role in encouraging the food industry to embark on meaningful sodium reduction programs for their products,” said Victor Hugo Manzanilla, CEO of MicroSalt. “This is a major milestone for the country, and we are ready to partner with food manufacturers to help them comply with the new guidelines whilst maintaining the full-flavour of their snacks.”
In the FTSE 250, discoverIE Group PLC added 4% to 1,090.75p after interim performance topped expectations despite strong foreign exchange headwinds.
The designer, manufacturer and supplier of customised electronics to industry said the strong order growth previously reported had continued into the second quarter of 2021 with revenue in the first half of the year well ahead of the same period of last year, which was affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and the year before, which wasn’t.
Group sales in the six-month period were up 23% year-on-year on a constant exchange rates (CER) basis. On a like-for-like (LFL) CER basis, sales were up 15% on the first half of last year and 8% ahead of the same period of 2019.