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Today’s market overview

There was mixed trading on European bourses ahead of minutes from the latest US Federal Reserve meeting. Meanwhile, Brent crude slipped marginally to $110.02/barrel, while gold held steady at $1,371.10 an ounce.

KEY STORIES:

The market reacted positively to good news from San Leon Energy (SLE). The company released details of fracture injection tests on the Siciny-2 well in Poland, which confirm the fractured nature of the reservoir in the well. The findings also suggest effective permeability, ‘frackable’ rock and slight over-pressure.

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) has sold German life insurer Heidelberger Leben to a joint venture between private equity group Cinven and Hannover Re for approximately €300m (£256m). The sale, along with a £254m sale of a batch of leveraged loans could accelerate UK government plans to start selling down its 39 per cent stake.

African Barrick Gold (ABG) announced the appointment of Bradley Gordon as chief executive. He succeeds Greg Hawkins, with immediate effect.

ITM Power (ITM) has been awarded a €350,000 grant to work on energy storage solutions for non-residential buildings, as part of a four-year programme working with a consortium of European organisations. The group’s role in the CommONEnergy project is the integration of hydrogen energy systems in a shopping centre.

Natural resources investor Armadale (ACP) has announced an initial investment and option to increase its interest in the Mpokoto Gold Project in the Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in line with Armadale’s strategy to build a portfolio of revenue generating African resource projects.

Roxi Petroleum (RXP) said it was very pleased with the results to date from both the shallow and deep wells at its flagship BNG asset.

MORE COMPANY NEWS:

Dutch brewer Heineken NV reported a 16.6 per cent fall in net profit, citing bad weather and soft demand in several of its Northern Hemisphere markets. Its Danish rival Carlsberg A/S pointed the finger at the Russian government’s aim to reduce alcohol consumption and relatively bad weather in Europe for a 36 per cent fall in second-quarter net profit.

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