Weaker oil prices drag FTSE lower

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) fell 2% as oil prices took reversed their previous rally, dragging the blue chip index 1% lower to 6,682.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1.5% to $50.27 and Brent crude oil slipped 1.8% to $53 per barrel, respectively.

Gold gained 0.3% to $1,170 per ounce and copper declined by 1% to $5,732 per tonne.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

There was good news from the UK house building sector as pre-tax profits rose by more than a third in the first half of the year at Berkeley (BKG). The group unveiled plans for more share buybacks in a bid to prop up its share price, which was weakened from the Brexit vote.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Smartphone components maker Laird (LRD) said it needs £185m of emergency funding in the first quarter of next year to get its debt under control. It also revealed it will axe its final dividend for this year as it struggled with falling demand for its various electronic kits, causing its shares to slump 10.6%.

Defence technology group QinetiQ (QQ.) won a £1bn amendment to a contract with the UK’s Ministry of Defence for test and evaluation services. Under the agreement, QinetiQ will modernise and operate air ranges at two MoD sites, and test aircrew training at the Empire Test Pilots’ School at MoD Boscombe Down.

Intellectual property group Allied Minds (ALM) raised £64m, which is around 8.1% of its issued share capital prior to the placing. The early-stage life sciences and technology investor said it placed the shares at 367p per share, a 2.2% discount to its closing price on Thursday, although the news dragged the stock lower to 367.5p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

A stark warning on the rising cost of raw materials struck fear into investors of building materials supplier James Halstead (JHD), despite reassuring cash flow and dividends.

Publisher of the i newspaper Johnston Press (JPR) announced chairman Ian Russell will step down at the end of the year due to an ‘acute illness in his family.’ Russell will be replaced on 1 January on an interim basis by Camilla Rhodes.

Smartphone security minnow Defenx (DFX) launched its parental controls tool kit into Ukranian and other eastern European markets after it sealed a distribution agreement. It secured 75,000 pre-orders, prompting the stock to soar 19.3% to 87.68p.

Full year results impressed investors at energy microcap Altona Energy (ANR), sparking a 11% share price rally to 0.5p.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) reported its well driving plan was approved by the Polish Miming Authority to drill the Boleslaw-1 well, triggering a share price jump of 22.7%.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com