WEDNESDAY MARKET CLOSE: Shares in Omega surge after update

The FTSE 100 powered to a fresh high of 7,096.78. Picture: AP

The FTSE 100 powered to a fresh high of 7,096.78. Picture: AP

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SCOTTISH medical testing kit maker Omega Diagnostics was one of the stock market’s biggest risers after it said it expects to meet profit targets for the year.

The Alva-based company, which is focused on allergies, food intolerances and infectious diseases, saw its shares jump by 18.5 per cent, or 2.38p, to 15.25p following the trading update.

Revenues for the year are expected to be £12.1m and adjusted profit before tax is expected to be £1.4m. The firm also said it believes it has solved a problem with its kit for testing the immune systems of HIV patients.

Meanwhile the FTSE 100 powered to a fresh high of 7,096.78, up 21.53 points, buoyed by oil and retail stocks.

Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG, said the blue-chip index had “batted off” concerns over weakness in the Chinese economy, pointing to a “market where any weakness is perceived as an opportunity to buy in at a better price”.

He said: “Record intraday highs reached at the European open point to a market where any weakness is perceived as an opportunity to buy in at a better price.”

A rise in the price of Brent crude oil to nearly $60 a barrel saw BP improve 4.85p to 475.8p and rival Royal Dutch Shell lifted 36p to 2,122p.

The boost for energy stocks came as China witnessed its slowest economy growth for six years. This was viewed as a positive for commodity stocks as it increases the prospect that policymakers will take action to boost the performance of the world’s second largest economy.

Fashion and homewares chain Next was one of the biggest risers in the top flight with a gain of more than 2 per cent, up 175p to 7,285p, after benefiting from a positive broker note from JP Morgan Cazenove.

Strong figures for JD Sports benefited rival chain Sports Direct International, which saw its shares rise 24.5p to 670p.

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