FTSE falls on miners, financials ahead of Fed call

London stocks opened southbound with miners and financials leading the blue-chip ladder lower as the market — already cautious about Brexit and the US elections — waits for the US Federal Reserve’s rates call tonight.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 30.86 points, or 0.45%, to 6886.28, while FTSE 250 was down 75.15, or 0.43%, to 17,448.2. Tomorrow, Bank of England will issue its latest interest-rate decision.

At 8.38am, WTI crude was down 1.2% to $46.11/bbl and Brent was down 1.08% to $47.62/bbl, both on inventory concerns. Gold rose 0.72% to $1297.3/oz.

Glencore (GLEN) guided metals burrowers south with a tumble of 2.35% to 240.65p, with Antofagasta (ANTO) shedding 1.9% to 542.5p and BHP Billiton (BLT) losing 1.78% to 1201.25p. More followed. Meantime, as crude fell, Shell (RDSA) weakened and BP (BP.) rose.

Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered (STAN) guided the pack with a 3.56% slide to 649.35p, and was chased by Barclays (BARC), off 1.53% to 183.85p, and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), down 1.18% to 184.4p, and HSBC (HSBA), lower 1.22% to 605.5p.

Insurers, supermarkets, leisure and house builders figured among the roughly 73 blue chips retreating. Commercial property was mixed, while multiple pharmas tiptoed lower.

Next (NXT), up 2.1% to 4911p, said its Q3 fell 3.5% and its year-to-date sales dropped 1.5%, but the company has maintained its central profit forecast at £805m. “We have narrowed our sales guidance to -1.75% to +1.25%, this compares to our previous range of -2.5% to +2.5%.”

Persimmon (PSN), up 1.81% to 1768p, said trading over the summer weeks immediately following the UK’s non-binding referendum to quit the EU was encouraging, with the number of customers visiting our sites remaining well ahead of last year.

BIGGER MOVERS

Pires Investments (PIRI), down 13.33% to 3.25p, said broker Peterhouse Corporate Finance Ltd has raised £525,000 gross for the company via the issue of 17.5m new shares at a placing price of 3p each.

Coal of Africa Ltd (CZA), up 11.56% to 3.62p, has welcomed a South African minister’s decision to dismiss an appeal against the environmental authorisation amendment for the Makhado project in the Limpopo Province.

Abzena (ABZA), down 12.66% to 34.5p, notes Gilead Sciences Inc has stated that no further development of simtuzumab will be pursued. In addition, GS-5745 will not be progressed further for Crohns Disease.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

JD Wetherspoon (JDW), down 4.48% to 848.25p, said its like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to Oct. 23 rose 3.5% and total sales gained 2.3%. The level of LFL sales eased 2.3% in the last five weeks of the period.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY), up 4.49% to 23.25p, said the European Patent Office has granted a broad technology patent relating to its Microcrystalline Tyrosine depot adjuvant manufacturing process.

Glanbia (GLB), up 3.6% to 14.66p, is reiterating its FY guidance of 8-10% growth in adjusted earnings per share at constant currencies following a good performance in the first nine months.

Avacta (AVCT), up 3.28% to 94.5p, has announced a research collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to evaluate the use of Avacta’s Affimer technology in novel CAR-T cell-based immunotherapy.

Kromek (KMK), up 2.78% to 27.75p, has been awarded new contracts worth a total of about $1.15m by three of its current OEM customers, who are worldwide producers and exporters of bone mineral density diagnostics systems, to supply its CZT-based detector modules.

Genel Energy (GENL), down 2.52% to 77.25p, has noted an announcement from DNO ASA, as operator of the Tawke field, that the Tawke field partners have received a payment of $31.33m from the Kurdistan Regional Government for oil sales during August 2016.

Smurfit Kappa (SKG), up 2.95% to 1812p, has lifted its 9-month pretax profit by 22% to €499m, from €408m. Revenue was €6.1bn, from €6.02bn. It said it was on track to deliver record FY EBITDA, in line with market views.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC), up 2.48% to 15.5p, has been awarded a contract to provide a managed MPLS solution by a major provider of high-speed network and ICT services to education and research facilities in Australia.

Other stocks in the news included Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG), Clipper (CLG), Vast Resources (VAST), Abcam (ABC), Compagnie de Saint-Gobain (COD), 4imprint (FOUR), RM2 Int’l (RM2), OneSavings Bank (OSB), Millennium & Copthorne (MLC), Just Eat (JE.) and Anglo Pacific (APF).

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