FTSE down on retail-related, pharmas, oil ballast

London equities ended the session lower, guided south by a string of retail-related, pharma and oil stocks ahead of Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve issuing their rate calls later this week.

At the close, FTSE 100 was down 42.04 points, or 0.6%, to 6954.22 and FTSE 250 was down 100.59, or 0.57%, to 17,544.2. Fifty-nine blue chips lost ground. Gold fell 0.19% to $1274.4/oz.

Next (NXT) guided blue-chip losers with a 3.15% slide to 4817.5p as the market prepares for its Q3 results.

Tesco (TSCO), down 2.32% to 210.75p, faces a damages claim from about 125 institutional funds for more than £100m, linked to accounting irregularities by grocer.

Financials traced Prudential (PRU), off 2.48% to 1335p, lower, while Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) tapered 2.47% to 189.2p.

Oil majors BP (BP.), off 1.72% to 483.7p, and Shell (RDSA), ebvbing 1.57% to 20385p, were on the back foot, too.

At 4.38pm, WTI crude was down 2.98% to $47.25/bbl. Brent was down 3.18% to $48.13/bbl. Oil’s fall followed non-Opec producers failing to make a commitment over the weekend to join the cartel in limiting output.

AstraZeneca, down 0.63% to 4588p, has completed its agreement with Aralez Pharmaceuticals Trading DAC for the US rights to branded and authorised generic Toprol-XL. It was chased lower by Shire (SHP), off 2.75% to 4650p.

Other sectors notably lower included house builders and commercial property, along with conumer goods and telcos. To the upside, the story was essentially miners with Randgold (RRS), up 3.43% to 7240p.

Anglo American (AAL), up 2.86% to 1131p, has completed the sale of its wholly owned interest in the Callide thermal coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

WPP (WPP), up 4.1% to 1778p, has reported Q3 revenue up 23.4% to £3.611bn, and nine-month revenue up 15.8% to £10.15bn.

BIGGER MOVERS

Alpha Pyrenees Trust Ltd (ALPH), up 66.67% to 0.12p, said a new extension has been agreed to its loan facilities with Barclays and the maturity date of all its remaining borrowings (€89.8m) has now been extended to Oct. 31, 2018.

Proteome Sciences (PRM), down 38.15% to 5.43p, has raised about £3.3m gross via an oversubscribed placing for 65,858,100 new shares of 1p each and a subscription of 400,000 new shares, both at 5p a share.

SKIL Ports & Logistics (SPL), up 16.67% to 12.25p, has today announced a conditional placing, open offer and subscriptions to raise up to about £37.6 million gross by the issue and allotment of up to 376m new shares at 10p each.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Stateside, the Chicago Institute for Supply Management’s PMI Index – known as its Business Barometer – fell to 50.6 in October from 54.2 in September. The fall was led by a slowdown in Production, which fell 5.4 points to 54.4.

US personal incomes rose 0.3% on the month in September, while spending rose 0.5%, Department of Commerce said. Economists forecast rises of 0.4% and 0.5%. Core personal consumption expenditures rose 0.1%, in line with views and from a 0.2% gain in August.

Euro-zone flash inflation for October measured by the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.5% on the year. This was in line with market views, and up from September’s 0.4% rise. Flash core CPI was up 0.8%, in keeping with market views and unchanged from September.

Euro-zone’s flash GDP growth rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in Q3, in line with forecasts and unchanged from Q2. Meanwhile, German retail sales fell 1.4% in September, from a revised fall of 0.3% in August. The market was looking for a gain of 0.2%.

UK net lending rose to £4.7bn in September, which was ahead of the £4.6bn forecast and from £4.5bn previously. Meantime, UK mortgage approvals rose to 62,932 in September, from 60,984 in August. A print of 62,000 was expected.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Patagonia Gold (PGD), up 15.69% to 2.95p, has issued an update on its open-pit mine and heap leach processing facility at Cap-Oeste.

Turbo Power Systems (TPS), down 14.29% to 0.15p, has hiked its Q3 revenue by 10% to £3.58m, but year-to-date its revenues were down 7% to £10.66m. Its strategic review continues.

Amur Minerals (AMC), up 11.08% to 3.86p, has signed a non-binding MoU with Jinchuan Nickel & Cobalt Research and Design Institute Co, Ltd of Jinchang, China.

Premaitha Health (NIPT), up 10.81% to 10.25p, welcomes the decision by the UK’s Department of Health to make non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT) routinely available on the NHS to high risk pregnant women across the UK.

NU-Oil and Gas (NUOG), up 13.39% to 0.64p, has agreed heads of terms with PVF Energy Services Inc under which they will work together to establish commercial production operations on the company’s licence PL2002-01(A).

Range Resources (RRL), up 9.19% to 0.41p, has signed an agreement with LandOcean Energy Services Co Ltd for the issuance of a $20m convertible note by Range.

InnovaDerma (IDP), up 8.18% to 119p, has entered the American market and secured retail and e-tailer distribution deals for Skinny Tan, a premium self-tanner brand that combines a natural tanning active, to tan and reduce the visible appearance of cellulite.

Petards (PEG), up 6.85% to 19.5p, has secured an additional framework contract and two “Call Off” contracts with Hitachi Rail Europe Limited (Hitachi) for Petards to supply Automatic Passenger Counting Systems.

Premier African Minerals (PREM), up 6.67% to 0.4p, has completed the acquisition of a 52% interest in Mozambique-based TCT Industrias Florestais Limitada (TCT IF), which owns a substantial limestone deposit located on rail in the Sofala Province of Mozambique.

Other stocks in the news included CAP-XX (CPX), Tekcapital (TEK), IGas Energy (IGAS), Milestone (MSG), 3i Infrastructure (3IN), Centamin (CEY), Aureus (AUE), Gresham (GHE), Savannah Resources (SAV), DekelOil (DKL), Faron Pharmaceuticals (FARN), Totally (TLY), IG (IGG), Plant Impact (PIM) and Quadrise Fuels (QFI).

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