London equities are broadly flat — the blue chip down a sliver and the mid cap off a jot — as investors look to Wednesday’s interest-rate call by the US Federal Reserve. A string of companies issued results news.
Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 0.02 points, or 0.0%, to 6813.53, while FTSE 250 dropped 34.31, or 0.19%, to 17,855.4. At 8.32am, WTI crude was down 0.74% to $42.98/bbl and Brent was down 0.61% to $45.67/bbl. Gold was up 0.14% to $1319.7/oz.
International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) fell 1.76% to 408.5p to pilot blue chips south. It was followed by a squadron of house builders, among them Barratt (BDEV), lower 1.43% to 472.15p, Persimmon (PSN), off 0.96% to 1755p, and Taylor Wimpey (TW.), down 0.93% to 148.7p.
Supermarkets were on the back foot after Sainsbury (SBRY), queuing 1.18% south to 243.6p, while a number of miners traced Antofagasta (ANTO), softening 0.74% to 496.8p. Others in the sector rose. BHP Billiton (BLT) was up 1.52% to 1038p. Multiple financials were lower, among them insurers, banks and investment specialists.
However, risers outnumbered fallers 61 to 39. Most moves were muted. Oil majors were softer after BP (BP.), down 0.34% to 424.83p. To the upside, Kingfisher (KGF), ahead 2.18% to 384.9p, has reported a productive first half with sales up 2.7% and retail profit up 8.7%, in constant currencies. Underlying pretax profit was £436m, up 13.5%.
Shire (SHP) subsidiary Shire Acquisitions Investments Ireland Designated Activity Company (SAIIDAC )has priced its inaugural public offering of $12.1bn aggregate principal amount of senior notes. Shire rose 1.16% to 5243p.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) eased 0.67% to 1634.5p. It has appointed Emma Walmsley as CEO-designate. Walmsley succeeds Andrew Witty who retires on March 31, 2017. She joins GSK’s board from Jan. 1, 2017.
Hikma (HIK), up 0.63% to 2165.5p, confirmed Nina Henderson is to become an independent non-executive director from Oct. 1. It also confirmed the retirement plans of independent directors Michael Ashton and Ron Goode.
PuriCore (PURI) rose 25.3% to 26p as it proposed the disposal of its supermarket retail business for $13.5m gross in cash. It separately booked an H1 pretax loss from continuing operations of $2.8m, from $1.9m.
Chaarat Gold (CGH) fell 17.86% to 6p as it confirmed Martin Andersson as non-executive chairman, and development of a heap-leach project.
Greatland Gold (GGH), down 16.67% to 0.17p, said drilling at the 100%-owned Bromus Project in Western Australia has detected anomalous levels of silver, zinc, cadmium and sulphur that are indicative of a polymetallic VMS-type system.
EVR Holdings (EVR) has raised £3.4m gross via an oversubscribed placing of 200m new shares at 1.7p each. Its share srose 16% to 2.17p. e-Therapeutics (ETX), down 15.29% to 9p, has posted an operating loss of £9.7m for H1, from a year-ago loss of £5.9m, including £2.1m goodwill write-off from the Searchbolt acquisition in May.
Nighthawk Energy (HAWK), up 14.77% to 1.01p, has reached a global settlement of all litigation and claims arising out of agreements with Running Foxes Petroleum and related issues with RFP’s joint venture partner, American Patriot Oil and Gas Inc.
fastjet (FJET), down 10.89% to 22.5p, has booked an H1 operating loss of $31.0m, up from $12.8m last time. It recorded an after-tax loss of $15.0m, from a profit of $6.4m.
Judges Scientific (JDG), down 10.74% to 1267.5p, said H1 revenues rose 9.3% to a record £27.3m, including 7.0% organic growth. Adjusted pretax profits fell 11.4% to £3.0m. Interim dividend was 9.0p, up 11.1%.
French Connection (FCCN), down 5.72% to 41.13p, has booked H1 group revenue of £69.2m, from £75.8m, on a reduced retail store portfolio, with five non-contributing stores closed during the period.
Premier African Minerals (PREM), up 5% to 0.53p, has provided a positive early update on its 2500m drilling programme at its Zulu Lithium Project near Fort Rixon in Zimbabwe.
Digital Barriers (DGB), up 4.3% to 48.5p, has won two contracts for its EdgeVis Live advanced wireless surveillance technology. The contracts have been secured with a flagship US Federal law enforcement agency, with one valued at $3.8m and the second at $0.8m.
Smart Metering Systems (SMS), up 4.25% to 557.75p, has published its interim results, which show continued strong growth in the six months to 30 June 2016. Underlying PBT rose 15% to £9.2m, from £8.0m.
Personal Group (PGH), down 4.19% to 457.5p, has reported its results for the six months ended 30 June 2016. Profit before tax fell 33.5% to £1.9m, from £2.9m. Lighthouse Group (LGT), up 3.33% to 11.63p, has posted an H1 pretax profit of £829,000, up 131% on last time. Revenues were slightly lower at £23.78m, from £23.94m.
Other stocks in the news included Pittards (PTD), Telit Communications (TCM), Swallowfield (SWL), Sports Direct International (SPD), Pennon (PNN), Ultra Electronics (ULE), Regency Mines (RGM), Capital Drilling (CAPD), Rare Earth Minerals (REM), Xeros Technology (XSG), Chagala (CGLO), Crossrider (CROS), Sound Energy (SOU), Corero Network Security (CNS), Mountfield (MOGP) and Kalibrate (KLBT).
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