FTSE 100 lower on National Grid U-turn

The blue chip index fell below the 7,000 mark to 6,986 as National Grid (NG.) nudged 1% lower to £10.55.

National Grid buckled to opposition and said it will spend £460m burying new power lines through the Lake District, instead of erecting pylons, which was a cheaper option.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said manufacturing output and orders increased over the last quarter, with export volumes growth the strongest for two and a half years.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil slipped 1.3% to $50.16 and Brent crude oil slumped over 1% to $51.19 per barrel, respectively.

Gold cheapened 0.3% to $1,261 per ounce and copper gained 0.2% to $4,607 per tonne.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in aerospace and defence firm Cobham (COB) crashed 16.6% to 133.9p on a profit warning as trading in the third quarter remained challenging and behind expectations. Management downgraded trading profit estimates for the full year by approximately £50m to between £255m and £275m.

South African miner Petra Diamonds (PDL) sparkled as it traded 5.6% higher at 147.7p on news of a 30% hike in first quarter production to 1,097,523 carats.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Biotech company AquaBounty (ABTU) won a court ruling that concluded the Ministers of Environment and Health were right to allow production of AquAdvantage salmon in Canada for commercial use. Its shares were flat at 28.25p following an initial 21% rally as investor excitement turned sour.

West African miner Avocet Mining (AVM) said bailiffs acting on behalf of ex-workers at its Inata mine in Burkino Faso seized a gold shipment of approximately 1,400 ounces earlier this month to cover unpaid benefits. Shares in the miner plummeted 20% as no gold shipments will be made until its partner confirms they will not be intercepted.

Investment firm Legendary Investments (LEG) traded 42% higher at 0.2p after its investee company Virtual Stock Holdings was appointed by the Shelford Group to deploy its technology platform with NHS Trusts’ suppliers.

Investors were eager to buy in Frontera Resources’ (FRR) ahead of an oil and gas exploration campaign in Georgia, which it expects will contribute to its year-end target pilot production rates of 2,200boe per day. The stock gained 32% to 0.11p.

Investment trading platform Plus500 (PLUS) slid 3.7% lower as the market focused on lower average revenue per user (ARPU) data in the three months to 30 September. ARPU declined 28% to $1,107 in the third quarter, resulting in a 4% decline in revenue to $77.5m.

Data analytics specialist Fusionex (FXI) sparked 16.8% to 204.4p on a positive trading update as earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was expected to be ‘significantly ahead’ of market expectations for the year to September.

Technology business Crossrider (CROS) announced the $1 acquisition of device driver search service DriverAgent, a first bolt-on deal for Crossrider as it accelerated growth into online products and distribution.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com