STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-UK small caps rise slightly less than blue-chips
The FTSE Small Cap index closes up 0.2 percent, slightly underperforming a 0.4 percent gain on the blue-chip FTSE 100 index and a 0.6 percent gain on the FTSE 250 mid-cap index.
The junior-listed FTSE AIM All Share Index ends 0.1 percent lower.
Ithaca Energy advances 3.6 percent after saying that the Total operated exploration well 25/5-9 on the "Trell" prospect in licence PL102 F/G in the Norwegian North Sea has made an oil discovery.
Ithaca entered into an agreement with Total in December to acquire a 10 percent working interest in licence PL102 F/G, with completion of the transaction in progress.
"The discovery is within approximately 10 km of the Heimdal production hub and this fits well with Ithaca's strategy in Norway of gaining access to lower risk exploration opportunities capable of monetisation prior to development," Westhouse Securities writes in a note.
"We think this discovery is not priced in by the market and although small in terms of valuation, it is a welcome addition."
Mineral development company Bushveld Minerals climbs 13.1 percent after saying it has succesfully executed the Amending Prospecting Right (APR) for the Bushveld Iron Ore Project.
Under the APR, the Prospecting Right 95PR has been amended to include phosphate ore.
"The economics of a small project could be improved by phosphate sales," analysts at Shore Capital write in a note.
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