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Today’s market overview

Equities are flat in early trading. The Trader has detected a buy signal in the US markets but remains wary of the effect of announcements such as today’s non-farm payroll figures.

IC TIP UPDATES:

Specialist materials manufacturer Low & Bonar (LWB) has announced a placing to raise £20.4m which will fund the acquisition of Texiplast, a Slovakian geosynthetic products maker, for €18.9m (£16m). We keep ourbuy rating.

Altona Energy (ANR) reports that CNOOC, its Chinese partner on the Ackaringa coal to liquids project in South Australia is in the process of choosing a drilling services partner. Our recommendation on Altona is under review.

AMEC (AMEC) has been appointed to carry out the engineering work for the Cladhan oil field in the North Sea. The company did not reveal the value of the contract. We keep our buy rating.

KEY STORIES:

Tullow Oil (TLW) has made a first oil discovery in the Hoop-Maud Basin of the Barents Sea, offshore Norway. The Wisting Central discovery is described as a ‘major frontier light oil discovery for Norway’.

Clinical software specialist EMIS (EMIS) has posted an 11 per cent increase in revenues for the first half, with recurring revenues rising by 5 per cent. Operating profits were flat at £12.1m.

Recruitment specialist Matchtech (MTEC) has acquired niche technology recruitment business Provanis for £4m.

Avon Rubber (AVON) has announced an order from a Middle Eastern customer for 52,000 respirators and associated filters. The order should be fulfilled in the current financial year.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF) has announced a proposed fundraising to raise between £100m and £240m which will be used to refinance an existing banking facility and acquire a portfolio of three public private partnership projects for £103m.

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