LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) has opened the week the way it ended last week, hovering less than a point above Friday's close -- though it did reach 6,134 during morning trading.
Markets have been supported by the Japanese government's plan to buy foreign debt in order to weaken the yen and boost exports, and there are reports that China will be expecting strong GDP growth this year.
Here are three individual companies that are helping to drive the various FTSE indexes up today.
Shanta Gold (LSE:SHG)
Shanta Gold made a great start to the day, powering up 12% to 24 pence. The cause? An upbeat operational update on Shanta's New Luika Gold Mine in Tanzania, which chief executive Mike Houston told us the company is on track to hit its 2013 production target of at least 70,000 ounces of the shiny stuff.
The fourth quarter saw production of 5,748 ounces plus 1,917 ounces of gold on carbon, and a new crusher facility was installed successfully in January. The share price has been through a couple of spikes in the past 12 months only to collapse again, so hopefully today's rise will be the start of something sustainable.
Shanks Group (LSE:SKS)
Waste management company Shanks Group had a nice morning as well, with its shares putting on 4.6% after the firm announced a new contract with Wakefield Council. The PFI contract, lasting 25 years and valued at an estimated 750 million pounds, will see Shanks build a waste treatment facility at South Kirby that should be able to treat 230,000 tonnes of waste per year.
It's a welcome boost to the Shanks share price, after it had a generally poor 2012. Although forecasts suggest a fall in earnings for the year to March, estimates for the following two years look strong.
Moss Bros (LSE:MOSB)
Shares in Moss Bros have gained another 8% this morning to reach 72 pence after the firm announced a 2.7% rise in like-for-like sales for the six months to Jan. 12 and told us that full-year profits will exceed previous expectations.
Trading over the Christmas period was good, and the company's tight cost-control looks to be proving successful. Over the past 12 months, the Moss Bros share price has doubled.
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