FTSE mixed as oil majors BP, Shell in focus

London stocks were mixed in early deals — the blue-chip ladder up and the mid-cap index a jot lower — as traders bought into the market after yesterday’s falls.

Nevertheless, a cautious sentiment lingers ahead of several central bank policy calls later this week.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 35.4 points, or 0.51%, to 6989.62, while FTSE 250 was down 1.04,or 0.01%, to 17,543.2. At 8.35am, WTI crude was up 0.55% to $47.12/bbl and Brent was up 1.11% to $49.15/bbl. Gold was up 0.57% to $1280.4/oz.

Oilies were in focus. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), up 2.8% to 2095.5p, has swung to Q3 CCS earnings attributable to shareholders of $1.4bn, from a loss of $6.1bn a year ago. Excluding identified items, these earnings totalled $2.8bn, versus $2.4bn a year earlier.

BP (BP.), down 2.01% to 474p, has reported a Q3 profit of $933m on an underlying replacement cost basis, versus $1.8bn a year earlier. The result was dented by the weaker price and margin environment, along with several mainly one-off and non-cash items in the Upstream.

Overall, about 27 blue chips eked out mostly minor gains. Several miners were guided by Antofagasta (ANTO), up 1.43% to 550.75p, while retail was led up by Tesco (TSCO), ahead 1.75% to 214.43p. Insurers followed Prudential (PRU), rising 1.59% to 1355.75p.

Several house builders made gains, with commercial property further back. A number of pharmas firmed, but others in this sector tiptoed south. US rates-sensitive Utilities mostly improved. Banks were mostly on the back foot after Standard Chartered (STAN), lower 2.47% to 694.3p.

On the economic front, investors are looking to manufacturing purchasing managers’ index data from UK and the US.

BIGGER MOVERS

Paragon Entertainment (PEL), up 30.77% to 2.55p, expects FY revenue to be about £13.2m, ahead of previous expectations of £11.0m, with EBITDA for the period seen at about £1.0m, ahead of previous views for £0.5m.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Franchise Brands (FRAN), up 12.38% to 59p, has acquired Barking Mad Ltd for a total of £900,000. Plutus PowerGen (PPG), up 8.62% to 1.58p, has received planning permission for the development of two 20MW renewable fuel powered energy generation sites in Suffolk.

TClarke (CTO), down 7.39% to 58p, has called in experts to probe £2.8m of missing funds at its wholly owned subsidiary, DG Robson Mechanical Services. Moneysupermarket.com (MONY), up 6.62% to 279.25p, has hiked its 9-month revenue by 10% to £242.5m, while in Q3 it rose 12% to £84.9m. “The Group is on track for a record year,” it said.

URU Metals (URU), down 6.06% to 0.78p, has provided an update on progress at the Zebediela Nickel Project in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Falanx (FLX), down 5.56% to 6.38p, has booked an H1 pretax loss of £729,760, down from £1.3m last time.

Horizonte Minerals (HZM), up 4.82% to 2.18p, has proposed raising £9.0m gross via a conditional placing of 450m shares at 2p each. Conviviality (CVR), up 5.12% to 215.5p, said unaudited revenues for the 26 weeks to Oct. 30 were 211% ahead of last year at £783m, and included revenues from the acquisitions.

Northern Petroleum (NOP), up 4.29% to 3.16p, has issued an update on the certified reserves for its development and production assets in Canada. Weir (WEIR), down 4.09% to 1630.5p, said its FY profits are anticipated to be slightly lower than current market expectations.

Egdon Resources (EDR), down 4.03% to 14.88p, has posts a FY loss of £2.69m after net write downs and impairments of £0.72m. This compared with a loss of £4.47 after net write downs and impairments of £3.62 million in 2015.

Hastings Group (HSTG), up 3.25% to 225.5p, said it continued to deliver in line with, or ahead of, the targets set at IPO. Amur Minerals (AMC), up 3.25% to 4.13p, has confirmed completion of its highly successful and cost effective 2016 field season on its flagship Kun-Manie nickel copper sulphide project.

Other stocks in the news included Go-Ahead Group (GOG), Renew (RNWH), Tungsten (TUNG), ULS Technology (ULS), Apax Global Alpha (APAX) and Virgin Money (VM.).

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com