Source - SMW
London stocks closed mixed -- the blue chip up a wafer and the mid cap down a jot -- as Wall St got off to a positive start. Lenders Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds (LLOY) were in southbound focus.

Financial and property stocks weighed on the top-100 ladder, as investors remained cautious at the start of a week rich in economics data releases.

Among lenders, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) fell 3.52% to 197.1p and Lloyds (LLOY) dropped 2.13% to 59.65p. Deutsche Bank had cut RBS to 'sell' from 'hold' and Lloyds to 'hold' from 'buy'. Provident Financial (PFG) was lower 2.32% to 3028p.

In property, commercial real estate was guided south by Intu (INTU), off 2.22% to 305.45p, while residential was piloted by Berkeley (BKG), down 2.18% to 2689p. More in both sectors followed. 

Meantime, several supermarkets and high-street retailers tapered. Tesco (TSCO) dropped 1.25% to 169.5p, while Next (NXT) slipped 1.23% to 5610p. Pharmaceuticals, beverage specialists, consumer goods and a posse of insurers were also on the back foot.

Blue-chip losers outnumbered winners 67 to 33. Among the latter were multiple resources issues, which benefited from rising crude and gold prices. Randgold (RRS) added 1.67% to 7590p and Shell (RDSA) firmed 1.07% to 1890.5p. Utilities also eked out gains.

At 4.29pm, WTI crude was up 1.26% to $45.00/bbl and Brent was up 1% to $47.30/bbl. Gold was ahead 0.29% to $1330.5. Several US rates-sensitive utilities were also on the up. At the close, FTSE 100 was down 15.18 points, or 0.22%, to 6879.42, while FTSE 250 rose 9.52, or 0.05%, to 18,026.0.   BIGGER MOVERS

Pantheon Resources (PANR), down 40.08% to 89.88p, has confirmed the cessation of drilling operations at the VOBM#2 well and provided an update on the fracture stimulation remediation process at VOS#1 well.

Tethys (TPL), down 33.33% to 1.25p, said Olisol has not met certain funding requirements and considered it to be in breach of an Investment Agreement. Tethys continued to work with Olisol to complete the private placement, same time evaluating alternative funding arrangements. 

88 Energy (88E), down 17.42% to 2.73p, has updated on Icewine #2, commenting a revision to the well design had resulted in a desirable scenario for the company and its shareholders. It now had a more efficient, lower-cost outcome that optimised achievement of the operational objectives targeted by the Icewine #2 well.


UK's services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for August printed to 52.9, from July's seven-year nadir of 47.4, data from Market/CIPS showed. Euro zone's final services PMI for August came in at 52.8, against a forecast for and July reading of 53.1.

Euro-zone retail sales accelerated 1.1% in July, following on from a 0.1% fall in June, data from Eurostat showed. On an annual basis, retail sales were up 0.4%. In other news, UK prime minister Theresa May received Brexit warnings from US and Japan at G20 over the weekend, with Wall St and Asian stock markets progressing overnight.


Zoopla (ZPLA) was up 7.7% to 329.55p afte Barclays Capital upgraded its investment rating to 'overweight' from 'equal weight'. Dechra (DPH), up 7.85% to 1402p, reports a strong financial performance for the year to the end of June. Undelying EBITDA rose 22.7% to £58.0m.

FinnAust Mining (FAM), up 8.97% to 5.83p, has significantly increased its land position in Greenland via the proposed acquisition of 100% of Avannaa Exploration, a mineral exploration company with several advanced projects in the south-west of the country.  

Hunting (HTG), up 6.33% to 491p, said its H1 operating losses rose to $77.0m, up from $63.1m last time. Pretax profit was £1.2m, from a year-ago loss of £4.5m. Kibo Mining (KIBO), up 4.26% to 6.13p, has received proof of payment for the amount of $1.8m from SEPCO III. 

Berkeley Energia (BKY), up 5.81% to 45.5p, said additional high-grade intersections have been recorded below the Zona 7 deposit, further supporting previous indications of continuity of mineralisation beneath the current defined resource.

Frontera Resources (FRR), up 5.26% to 0.1p, has upgraded the gas potential and announced progress from oil and gas operations in Georgia.

Koovs (KOOV), up 4.2% to 62p, reported strong sales growth of 115% year on year in the four months to end-July, and a significant increase in brand awareness from <1% to 18%. Cambria Automobiles (CAMB), up 4.48% to 70p, is confident of delivering results for the full year in line with the revised market expectations.

Scisys (SSY), up 3.55% to 87.5p, has won a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to deliver further research and software development services to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). 

Instem (INS), up 0.58% to 259p, has acquired Notocord. The total consideration, to be satisfied in cash, will be up to €4.2m.

Other stocks in the news included Vipera (VIP), Green Dragon Gas (GDG), StatPro (SOG), Wizz Air (WIZZ), Carillion (CLLN), Plus500 (PLUS), RedstoneConnect (REDS), LondonMetric Property (LMP), Urals Energy (UEN), Vela Technologies (VELA), Fishing Republic (FISH), Union Jack Oil (UJO), Craven House Capital (CRV), Vectura (VEC), Anglo African Agriculture (AAA) and Atalaya Mining (ATYM).     

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