Shares in Novacyt S.A. (AIM:NCYT) have soared 28% after the company said its Genesig Covid-19 real-time PCR test has been approved by the UK Health Security Agency.

The genesig COVID-19 test is Novacyt’s first to be added to the UK official register, the clinical diagnostics specialist said in a statement, which will mean the full-year revenue shortfall it previously had forecast will be “significantly lower”.

Novacyt said it is still waiting for updates on the additional eight products submitted to the Coronavirus Test Device Approvals (CTDA) process across its COVID-19 testing portfolio, with its Primerdesign PROmate COVID-19 test remaining on the temporary protocol and continuing to be supplied to the NHS.

“We continue to engage with the UK Health Security Agency and look forward to further updates on our tests still under review,” the company said. (Read more here.)

11.50am: ScS says so far not so good

ScS Group PLC (AIM:SCS) investors will perhaps feel like today was a good day for the company to report a slowing of sales momentum, sending the shares down 17% in early trading, though they by late morning they were down less than 10% at 225.25p.

The sofa seller reported like-for-like order reduction of 10.6% for the 16 weeks to 20 November, compared to the 1.5% decline for the previous full year.

As house broker Shore Capital says: “After a stellar period of trading through the various stages of Covid 19 restrictions, and easings, ScS has reported a step-back in trading momentum in recent weeks. We await to see if the slower trading is temporary, reflective of a change in Christmas shopping patterns, or of a more permanent basis.”

8.52am: Ocado and EQTEC among rare risers

Ocado Group PLC (LSE:OCDO) was the very few risers on Friday morning, and the only one in the FTSE 100, as concerns about a virulent new COVID-19 variant battered stock markets around the world.

The shares are up 2.7% to 1,795.5p.

The prospect of new lockdowns in the UK, which has weighed on market sentiment throughout the past week, is good news for online groceries, among some other industries.

After the first lockdown last year, Ocado shares put on a 150% run and even after backing down are still up more than a third on their pre-pandemic levels, with sales for the year to November 2020 climbing 33%.

Elsewhere, one of the biggest early risers was EQTEC PLC, up 9% to 1.45p in early trade after it agreed a collaboration with FTSE 250-listed Wood Group (John) PLC (LSE:WG.) to collaborate and develop clean, waste-to-synthetic natural gas (SNG) and waste-to-hydrogen solutions.

Under the deal, EQTEC will combine its advanced gasification technology and synthesis gas production with Wood’s established VESTA methanation technology, allowing it to connect to existing natural gas networks.

“The markets for SNG and hydrogen are maturing rapidly,” Jeff Vander Linden, EQTEC’s chief operating officer said. “EQTEC’s unique capabilities in producing high-quality syngas have always positioned us well as a supplier of intermediate fuel for both applications.

“This collaboration agreement with Wood is an important start to our entry into these growth markets.”

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