A share purchase by Garry Watts breathed new life into the share price of Circassia Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:CIR), which was up 15% at 24p.

Watts is set to join the board of the respiratory disease specialist in March of next year as the senior independent director. He purchased 477,340 shares at 21p a pop.

Yesterday, Circassia announced that chief executive and co-founder Steve Harris would be retiring from the board at the end of this year.

1.45pm: Haynes Publishing shining in the shop window

Up for sale Haynes Publishing Group Plc (LON:HYNS) revved 2.4% higher to 435p after its half-year trading update.

Having put itself up for sale earlier this month, the manuals and data group said half-year profits will be 37% higher than a year ago.

Eddie Bell, the chairman of Haynes, said the improvement was driven entirely by organic growth, with both revenue and underlying profit tracking ahead of the prior year.

12.30pm: Marks and Spencer perks up after broker upgrade

FTSE 250 stock Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS) was up 3.9% at 200.8p after JP Morgan Cazenove upgraded the stock to ‘neutral’ from ‘underweight’.

Of the 23 brokers that cover the ailing bellwether of the high street, just three of them rate the stock a “buy” while 11 rate it a sell.

Earlier this week, Ocado Group PLC (LON:OCDO) revealed revenue growth at its UK joint venture with Marks & Spencer softened to between 10% and 11% in the 13 weeks to 1 December from the 11.4% in the 13 weeks to 1 September.

11.30am: i3 Energy close to completing share subscription

i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E) said it is expecting to complete subscriptions for 14.29mln shares shortly at a big premium, sending its shares 10% soaring higher to 13.75p.

The company announced on 8 November it had agreed to issue £5mln of equity to funders of its May 2019 junior loan notes at a price of 35p per share via a private placement.

The company expects admission of the new shares to be on or around 9 December 2019.

10.30am: Chamberlin puts the hammer down after bagging two contracts

Engineering tiddler Chamberlin PLC (LON:CMH) soared 65% to 35.5p in early trade on Friday after announcing two contract awards.

Things were looking bleak for the 129-year-old company last month when it announced it expected to make a small loss over the full-year despite offloading around one-third of the workforce but today’s news will have lifted the spirits of those working in the Walsall and Scunthorpe foundries.

The Walsall foundry has won a contract, expected to be worth up to £400,000 a year from Roadcraft, a supplier of “cats eyes” road illuminations while the Scunthorpe operations have received a new order for the supply of flap valves for the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The flap valves contract is worth an initial £900,000 – half of the total value of the deal.

9.30am: CEO steps down at Mobile Streams

Shares in Mobile Streams PLC (LON:MOS) perked up 2.9% to 0.17p after it announced board changes.

Simon Buckingham has stepped down as a director and chief executive officer (CEO) of the company but will continue as an employee of the company in the role of non-board vice-president of business operations. Mark Epstein, the chief operating officer, will take over the CEO duties until further notice.

On Tuesday, Buckingham sold his entire holding of 44.62mln shares in the provider of media entertainment content for mobile devices at 0.15p a pop.

Proactive news headlines:

ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) said it was in ongoing discussions with “commercial third parties” interested out-licence deals across all its programmes. The update came alongside the stem cell specialist’s interim results, which showed it made significant operational and financial progress in the six months to September 30.

Metal Tiger Plc (LON:MTR) noted that Kalahari Metals Limited, in which it has a near 60% stake, has provided an encouraging drilling update from its Okavango Copper Project in Botswana. It has completed six holes for a total of 1,656 metres, which successfully proved the existence of the of D’Kar and Ngwako Pan formations that are prospective for both copper and silver. Hole OCP06 intersected two wide zones, totalling 85 metres, with visible copper-sulphide mineralisation.

i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E), an independent oil and gas company with assets and operations in the UK, announced that further to its announcement of 8 November 2019, it is expecting to complete the subscriptions for 14,285,715 new ordinary shares in the company at 35p each from funds managed by Bybrook Capital LLP shortly.

Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD), which is developing the Bougouni Lithium project in southern Mali, intends to lodge a mining licence application as soon as possible, with a view to having a fully permitted project in the first half of 2020.

Life sciences group OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI), has entered into three new exclusive distribution agreements relating to its SlimBiome and GoFigure products, extending its reach in Poland, Malaysia and Singapore.

Base Resources Limited (LON:BSE, ASX:BSE) confirmed the details of its recently updated ore reserves estimate for the Ranobe deposit, part of the Toliara project in Madagascar. The project now has 586mln tonnes of ore with an average heavy mineral grade of 6.5%, giving some 38mln tonnes of in-situ minerals. This is consistent with the mineral resources assumptions underpinning the pre-feasibility study, the company said in a statement.

Kibo Energy PLC (LON:KIBO) has completed the first stage of the restructuring of its Mabesekwa thermal power station project (MCIPP) in Botswana. Shareholder agreement has been received for a reduction in its holding in Kibo Energy Botswana (KEB) to 35%. KEB is the holding company for the 76mln tonnes (1Mt) coal resource at Mabesekwa. The remaining agreements are scheduled to be completed by 20 March next year.

Providence Resources PLC (LON:PVR) has announced that Tony O’Reilly has resigned from his position as chief executive of the Irish energy firm with immediate effect. Chairman Pat Plunkett will cover the executive function on a temporary basis whilst the company recruits a long-term replacement.

Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (FRA:W1D) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) has secured A$45.5 million in additional funding to support rapid development of the Lake Way Sulphate of Potash (SOP) Project in Western Australia. The company has received binding commitments from a number of new Australian institutional investors and existing institutional shareholders for a placement to raise A$23.5 million.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:ASX) LON:THR) has issued a response to a price query from the Australian Securities Exchange in which it confirmed the company was not aware of any information concerning it that has not been announced to the market which could explain recent trading in its securities.

ADES International Holding PLC (LON:ADES) said it was notified on 5 December 2019 that its CEO, Dr. Mohamed Farouk Abdelkhalek purchased a further 700 ordinary shares in the company at average price of US$ 11.843 each.  Following this transaction, the group added, Abdelkhalek has direct and indirect beneficial interests in 2,076,319 shares representing 4.76 % of the company’s issued share capital.

Europa Oil & Gas Holdings PLC, (LON:EOG) the AIM-quoted UK and Ireland-focussed oil and gas exploration and production company, said its Annual General Meeting will be held at 9.00 am on Wednesday 11 December 2019 at the Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS.