LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) picked up a bit yesterday afternoon after the European Central Bank cuts its benchmark interest rate from 0.75% to 0.5%, but there's little movement today, with the index of top U.K. shares up just 0.24% to 6,477 points as of 7:45 a.m. EDT. Despite the cut, there are still few signs of economic cheer across the eurozone, with manufacturing output having fallen in April.
But things are happier for some of our individual companies. Here are three that are perking up today.
Man Group saw its shares rise 9.4% to 116 pence this morning after the investment manager released a quarterly update telling us that its AHL Diversified program is up 4.2% for the quarter and up 10.4% for the year to date. But on the downside, the firm saw a net outflow of capital of $3.7 billion over the period, taking total funds under management down to $54.8 billion.
But perhaps the biggest news is that Man will use up $470 million of its surplus capital to redeem all its debt securities, saving $78 million in interest payments from 2014.
An interim update from Kentz Corporation sent the firm's shares up 2.7% to 409 pence, bringing a welcome uptick to a share price that has been erratic all year; it's now down a couple of percent over 12 months.
The engineering and construction group tells us trading so far is in line with expectations and that all three of its business units have been awarded new contracts since the end of the last full year. Order intake for the first four months of the year stands at about $700 million, and the firm's prospect pipeline is now up to $13.7 billion.
Range Resources (LSE: RRL )
The Range Resources share price has fallen about 70% over the past 12 months, but the price blipped up 2.3% to 3.6 pence this morning after the firm released news of its proposed merger with International Petroleum. The raising of the funding needed for the merger is apparently close to completion, with 67 million of Range's 339 million new shares having been placed and the rest to be allocated within the next day or two.
The merger will provide Range with access to resources in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Niger, adding to its main interests in Somalia, Georgia, the U.S., Trinidad, and Colombia.
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