London stocks retrieved some of their early weakness to be sitting just below par to midday, with multiple falling blue-chip miners and financials presently deciding direction.
To noon, FTSE 100 was down 1.59 points, or 0.02%, to 7104.49, an ace below its all-time closing high yesterday. FTSE 250 was down 14.17, or 0.08%, to 17,998.6, also off a recent high.
While it was Ashtead (AHT), down 1.77% to 1580.5p, and Smiths (SMIN), lower 1.64% to 1411.5p, leading the FTSE 100 losers’ list, banks and metals burrowers were camped out not far behind.
Barclays (BARC) fell 1.33% to 221.75p, while Lloyds (LLOY), lower 0.99% to 62.92p, and other sector players chased. Also down were Asia-focussed HSBC (HSBA) and Standard Chartered (STAN).
Among miners, behemoths Antofagasta (ANTO), ebbing 0.69% to 680.75p, and Glencore (GLEN), retreating 0.65% to 275.1p, led the pack.
However — in a session with top-100 risers and fallers roughly evenly split — gold-sensitve plays Fresnillo (FRES), up 2.48% to 1199p, and Randgold (RRS), up 1.92% to 6237.5p, benefitted.
At 11.37am, gold was up 0.56% to $1147.30/oz, while silver and copper also appreciated. WTI crude was down 0.48% to $53.80/bbl and Brent was up 0.04% to $56.24/bbl.
Other sectors firming included multiple commercial property, utilities and pharmas.
It remains to be seen whether these blue-chip risers will have sufficient impetus to drag the FTSE 100 into positive territory and another all-time closing high this afternoon.
Alpha Pyrenees Trust (ALPH), up 33.33% to 0.1p, said it has sold a vacant warehouse located in Zaragoza, Spain, for €370,000. The property is approximately 2,590 square metres and is located on an established industrial estate.
Trinity Capital (TRC), down 11.11% to 1p, has posted an H1 pretax profit of £4.7m, from a year-ago loss of £1.3m. It noted significant progress in implementing the company’s investment policy during the current financial year.
Indus Gas (INDI), up 4.88% to 325.13p, has posted an H1 pretax profit of $22.6m, up from $14.3m last time. Revenues rose to $27.4m from $22.6m and operating profits of $22.3m were uo from $16.8m a year ago.
IGas Energy (IGAS), down 4.26% to 11.13p, said it has recently met with certain of its bondholders and potential strategic investors to discuss its capital restructuring options and valuation of the company.
Ophir (OPHR), up 2.14% to 95.25p, and its joint venture partners, BG Tanzania (Shell) and Pavilion Energy, have concluded the drilling of two exploration wells offshore Tanzania, safely and on time.
Petra Diamonds Ltd (PDL), up 1.97% to 158.05p, has published a full report on its payments to governments for the year ended 30 June 2016.
BMR Group (BMR), down 1.85% to 6.63p, reports a loss before tax of £1.13m for the year to the end of June, from £1.59m.
Premier Oil (PMO), down 0.35% to 72.25p, has received a monthly deferral in respect of the test of its financial covenants with the test for the 12 month period ending 31 December 2016 waived and replaced by a test for the 12 month period ending 31 January 2017.
Circle Oil (CIRC), down 0.62% to 19.13p, said its financial position remains under significant pressure and it expects its listing on AIM to be cancelled on Dec. 30.
Other stocks in the news included Frontera Resources (FRR), MySQUAR (MYSQ), Vipera (VIP), Hummingbird (HUM), Globaltrans Investment (GLTR), Windar Photonics (WPHO) and Concha (CHA).
Story provided by StockMarketWire.com