FTSE tapers behind miners as gold, silver prices ease

London shares sauntered lower in early deals as the price of gold and silver tapered and cast a pall over multiple miners, albeit as other metals prices were mixed.

Polymetal International (POLY) dived 8.22% to 972p, while Fresnillo (FRE) fell 2% to 1766p. Randgold (RRS) eased 1.72% to 7877p. Anglo American (AAL) fell 0.97% to 911.6p as it appointed an FD.

Vodafone (VOD), down 1.35% to 220.48p, and Afrimax Group have jointly announced a new non-equity Partner Market agreement for Cameroon.

Meantime, blue-chip financials were on the back foot. Banking giant Standard Chartered (STAN) faltered 1.63% to 641.1p, while Provident Financial (PVR) lost 1.41% to 2969.5p.

Wider sector pals of both followed, among them insurer Prudential (PRU), lower 1.27% to 1397p, high-street lender Lloyds (LLOY), off 1.1% to 56.52p. More banks and insurers chased.

Roughly 75 blue chips fell, but most losses were muted. Among these ranks were utilities, consumer goods, supermarkets, leisure, high-street retail and multiple pharmas.

To the upside, house builders enjoyed an uptick. Persimmon (PSN) guided with a 3.37% rise to 1857.5p, with more behind. Commercial property was mixed.

Smiths Group (SMIN), up 0.04% to 1415.5p, has entered into an agreement to sell its Artificial Lift business, part of the John Crane division, to Endurance Lift Solutions, LLC.

At 8.35am, WTI crude was down 0.99% to $45.86/bbl and Brent was down 0.73% to $47.3/bbl. Gold fell 0.42% to $1339/oz. FTSE 100 fell 23.13 points, or 0.33%, to 6888.27, while FTSE 250 dropped 52.43, or 0.29%, to 17,935.3.


BMR Group (BMR), up 11.36% to 6.12p, and subsidiary Enviro Mining entered into the anticipated project construction and trade finance facility for up to $5.2m with South African company African Compass International.

Indivior (INDV), down 10.35% to 292.45p, said it was notified yesterday that 35 US states and the District of Columbia have filed a civil complaint alleging violations of state and federal antitrust and consumer protection laws. It would defend its position.

Baron Oil (BOIL), up 10.53% to 0.53p, has entered into a JV with SundaGas Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based company, to search for new business opportunities in south-east Asia.


MX Oil (MXO), down 6.67% to 1.05p, has more than doubled its H1 pretax loss to £1.83m, from a year-earlier loss of £0.7m. “With the Aje Field commencing production, the year to date has been an exciting period for the company,” said CEO Stefan Olivier.

Sound Energy (SOU), up 6.67% to 84p, said it and PetroMaroc Corp. have revised the terms relating to the former’s acquisition of a 50% operated stake in in three onshore gas permits in Morocco, together known as the Sidi Moktar Licences.

Solo Oil (SOLO), up 6.52% to 0.25p, has been told by the Ruvuma Petroleum Sharing Agreement operator, Aminex (AEX), that a rig contract has now been signed for the drilling of the Ntorya-2 appraisal well in the Ruvuma basin. AEX rose 5.71% to 1.85p.

NetScientific (NSCI), up 5.96% to 80p, said portfolio company Wanda has been selected by the Los Angeles-based 24Hr HomeCare to provide its predictive analytics and behavioural guidance technology to improve outcomes for at risk-patients and reduce hospital readmissions.

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD), down 4.08% to 176.5p, has agreed to acquire ACMC Holding, a silicon carbide whisker manufacturer based in South Carolina, for up to $7.0m in cash and shares.

Sports Direct (SPD), up 2.41% to 293.8p, has appointed Mike Ashley as CEO with immediate effect, after confirming Dave Forsey had resigned from the role yesterday. Constellation UK and Bond International Software (BDI), up 4.15% to 113p, have announced a recommended revised cash offer from Constellation UK at 115.5p per Bond share.

Other stocks in the news included CVS (CVS), Constellation (CHT), Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P), Cogenpower (CGP), Randall & Quilter (RQIH), Arcontech (ARC), Pathfinder Minerals (PFP), K3 Business Technology (KBT), Obtala (OBT), Premier African Minerals (PREM) and Tullow Oil (TLW).

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