London’s AIM Index fell sharply at the open before managing to recover some losses as the session progressed. Whilst the situation in Ukraine remains delicate, a lot of the downside here has arguably already been priced in. At copy time of 3.30pm, the junior market was a little over seven points lower at 1034.35.
- Baron Oil +14%
- Hurricane Energy +14%
- Image Scan Holdings -35%
- System 1 Group -30%
- Petroneft Resources -21%
Baron Oil [LON:BOIL] was the day’s best performer, adding 14% by 3.30pm. With oil prices eyeing $100/barrel, there’s no shortage of interest in energy stocks, although those without work going on in Russia or Central Asia – such as Baron – obviously stand to fare better.
Hurricane Energy [LON:HUR] also found favour, tacking on 14% by copy time. The company’s assets are all located off the UK, again giving valuable exposure to the precious commodity without exposure to the unfolding geopolitical events.
Image Scan [LON:IGE] found itself at the foot of the table, off some 35% by the cut. A trading statement issued this morning highlighted that the company was still seeing sales of industrial scanners impacted by reduced volumes in the automotive industry and whilst performance is expected to improve in the second half of the year, current opinions suggest that profitability may not be seen over the full year.
System 1 Group [LON:SYS1] also struggled, again following a trading update. The company’s full year runs to March 31st and they have noted that sales will be at least £1m short of previous expectations, owing to a sudden drop off in US projects. Action is being taken and the company remains in a strong cash position but clearly investors are nonplussed, marking the stock down 30% as a result.
Petroneft Resources [LON:PTR] gets a notable mention having slipped 21% by 3.30pm. Although based in Ireland and badged as an international oil and gas producer, operations are very much focused on projects in Russia. Clearly there’s significant risk here in terms of fall-out from any sanctions, with the very real risk of assets becoming stranded.
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