London stocks were moderately lower in early deals with blue chips led south by house builders, commercial property, airlines and, further back, financials.
Ex-div house builder Barratt Developments (BDEV) led the blue-chip throng with a 7.33% slide to 441p, and was chased by ex-div Wolseley (WOS), off 2.54% to 4242.5p and Persimmon (PSN), lower 1.77% to 1662p. Commercial tapered after Land Securities (LAND), lower 1.64% to 987.5p.
Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 25.52 points, or 0.37%, to 6932.57, while FTSE 250 was down 87.58, or 0.5%, to 17,851.4. There was a lengthy list of ex-div issues. At 8.37am, WTI crude was down 0.1% to $49.13/bbl and Brent was up 0.02% to $49.99/bbl. Gold was down 0.19% to 1269/oz.
Airlines taxied south after International Consolidated Airlines (IAG), down 2.44% to 412.4p, while retail-related softened after M&S (MKS), down 2.07% to 335.2p, and Next (NXT), off 1.55% to 4656.5p. Tesco (TSCO) shed 0.99% to 211.43p.
Financials — banks, insurers, fund managers and investment specialists — were down, but off the overall pace, which saw about 70 blue chips step south. To the limited upside, utilities firmed after National Grid (NG.), up 1.55 to 1065.75p, and United (UU.), up 0.97% to 939p.
Miners were sprinkled on both the winners’ and losers’ ladders, as were several pharmas. Oil majors were lower, but well off the overall pace. RELX (REL), up 1.01% to 1443.5p, noted continued underlying revenue growth in the first nine months and reaffirms its FY outlook. the outlook for the full year.
Barclays (BARC), up 0.04% to 181.88p, reports a strong core business performance with underlying double digit return on tangible equity in Q3. BT Group (BT.A), up 0.3% to 388.75p, said reported revenue rose 35% in the second quarter, and growth in underlying revenue excluding transit adjusted for the acquisition of EE up 1.1%.
Avocet Mining (AVM), down 35.87% to 45.13p, has issued production and cash costs for Q3 from the Inata gold mine, and that operations there have been suspended. Total gold output at Inata for the quarter was 17,694 oz at a cash cost of US$1,047/oz, respectively lower and higher.
Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW), down 18.15% to 479.25p, is on course to deliver resilient trading results for this year and next despite the continuing weakness in some of our key markets.
Berendsen (BRSN), down 14.3% to 1055p, reported revenue for the three months to the end of September, compared to the prior year, increased by 12.9%, with underlying growth, at constant exchange rates and before acquisitions, of 2.4%.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN), down 12.2% to 0.9p, has raised £400,000 gross via a placing of 50m new shares at 0.8p each. Proceeds would be used for general working capital purposes and further investment.
Strategic Minerals (SML), down 9.09% to 0.5p, has raised £600,000 gross via an oversubscribed placing of 150m new shares at an issue price of 0.4p each.
Mercom Capital (MCC), up 8.33% to 16.25p, and Calvet International Ltd have entered into non-binding heads of terms, which, amongst other things provide, for a cash fundraising of about £11.7m at 18p a share.
Alumasc (ALU), up 7.72% to 153.5p, said the positive trading momentum leading up to the end of its last financial year has continued and the fundamental growth drivers underpinning its business remain strong.
Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP), down 4.55% to 0.11p, has raised £225,000 via the issue of 225m new shares at 0.1p each, and the grant of 225m warrants, exercisable for two years at a price of 0.15p a share.
Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG), down 4.22% to 31.13p, has provided an update on its operations for the three-month period ended 30 September 2016. Versarien (VRS), down 4.3% to 1.13p, announces the participation of subsidiary 2-DTech Ltd in a new project funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council).
C&C (CCR), down 1.13% to 3.51p, said its operating profits fell to 307.0m in the six months to the end of August, down 7.9% at constant currencies. Debenhams (DEB), up 3.31% to 55.48p, reports a solid performance in line with expectations or the 53 weeks to 3 September.
BBVA Group (BVA), up 2.61% to 6.49p, earned 2.8 billion between January and September 2016, up 64.3% on a year ago.
Other stocks in the news included Inchcape (INCH), Redefine Int’l (RDI), Moneysupermarket.com (MONY), DS Smith (SMDS), Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY), Mercia Technologies (MERC), Henderson (HGG), Terra Capital (TCA), KAZ Minerals (KAZ), Hurricane Energy (HUR) and Ten Alps (TAL).
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