London equities spiralled lower as their morning malaise was complemented by falls on Wall St, concerns about North Korea's latest nuclear test, jitters over US crude oil stores and the potential for a US rate rise. FTSE 100 closed down 1.19%, or 81.75p, to 6776.95. FTSE 250 was down 298.94, or 1.64%, to 17,894.2. Wall St was firmly lower, as was Europe. At 4.32pm, WTI crude was down 2.29% to $46.53/bbl and Brent was down 2.58% to $48.7/bbl. Gold fell 0.34% to $1337/oz. Of Friday, Boston Federal Reserve president Eric Rosengren said the US central bank faced risks if it waited much longer to hike interest rates, adding a gradual tightening was likely appropriate. Meantime, China inflation data slowed more than expected in August. Ashtead (AHT) led blue chips lower with a fall of 4.42% to 1233p, and was followed by Whitbread (WTB), down 3.91% to 4020.5p. Real estate fell. Intu (INTU) guided commercial with a 2.87% fall to 298.2p, with residential specialist Berkeley (BKG) faltering 2.42% to 2658p. US rates-sensitive utilities were on the back foot. United Utilities (UU.) eased 2.08% to 978.75p, while SSE (SSE) dropped 1.94% to 1545.5p. Overall, 92 blue chips lost traction with about 70 down by 1% or more. Most sectors were represented. Losers of note include supermarkets after Morrison (MRW), easing 3.68% to 192.55p, and Tesco (TSCO), lower 2.96% to 166.03p. Consumer goods fell, as did several miners, although others made headway. Insurers, tobacco and investment specialists were softer, too. Big-ticket banks were prominent among the few blue-chip risers. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) added 2.28% to 206.7p, with Barclays (BARC), Lloyds (LLOY) and HSBC (HSBA) following in quick succession. Mediclinic (MDC), up 1.53% to 979.25p, said revenue growth in its Abu Dhabi operations for the FY will be lower than previously expected, but that trading conditions are in line with management's expectations for Southern Africa, Switzerland and Dubai. BIGGER MOVERS Hurricane Energy (HUR), up 56.12% to 38.25p, has completed the testing and logging phase of the 205/21a-7 well. It would permanently abandon the pilot well reservoir section prior to side-tracking the top-hole to form the 7Z horizontal sidetrack. IPPLUS (IPP), up 44.26% to 22p, is to seek shareholder approval for the sale of IPPlus (UK) and CallScripter for £6.7 million to focus fully on PCI-PAL. ECONOMICS NEWS US wholesale inventories totalled $591.3bn at end-July, virtually unchanged from the revised June level, the US Department of Commerce said. UK's goods trade balance for July was a worse than expected -£11.76bn, versus the -£11.65bn anticipated by the market. June's goods trade balance was revised down to -£12.92bn, from -£12.41bn. UK's construction output was flat between June and July, data from Office for National Statistics showed. This was against market expectations for a 0.5% drop. On an annual basis, construction output tapered 1.5%, versus forecasts for a 3.4% slide. UK's inflation expectations rose in August. Bank of England's quarterly inflation attitudes report showed the median expectation among the British public rose to 2.2% in August, from 2.0%. On a 12-month basis, the median expectation was unchanged at 2.2%. LONDON HIGHLIGHTS Gable Holdings (GAH), down 15.79% to 2p, said William Dewsall has been appointed executive chairman on an interim basis following the resignation of Jost Pilgrim. Botswana Diamonds (BOD), down 21.52% to 1.55p, said its 50:50 joint venture with Alrosa, the world's leading diamond producer, will start next stage exploration at the end of September in the Orapa and Gope areas of Botswana. Minoan (MIN), down 8.7% to 7.88p, said its travel business has been negatively affected by the outcome of the UK's non-binding Brexit vote to quit the EU, weakness in sterling and the decline of tourism in Turkey. Its FY profit would not meet market views, it said. YOLO Leisure and Technology (YOLO), up 2.38% to 1.08p, said TVPlayer Ltd, in which it has an interest, has signed formal licensing multi-year content agreements with ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to simulcast the broadcasters' free to air channels on TVPlayer. Greene King (GNK), down 5.95% to 790p, is confident of delivering another year of strategic and financial progress. It was cautious on the impact of Brexit to leisure spend. JD Wetherspoon (JDW), up 2.6% to 948p, has reported record sales, profit and earnings per share before exceptional items for the year to 24 July. Profit before tax and exceptional items rose 3.6% to £80.6m, from £77.8m. Hornby (HRN), up 2.47% to 31.38p, said its current trading has been in line with expectations. "The planned business restructuring is on track and the Board remains focused on returning the group back to a position of sustainable profit and cash generation," it said. Thalassa (THAL), flat at 40p, yesterday acquired 10.44m shares in The Local Shopping REIT (LSR) at a total cost of about £3.6m. As a result, it is now beneficially interested in 12.87m shares, or about 15.6% of LSR. Shares in LSR rose 10.19% to 31.13p. Telit Communications (TCM), down 4.2% to 230.88p, has been provided with a preferred loan of €12.8m and awarded a grant of €3.6m by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MiSE) to further develop an innovative platform for the application of IOT technologies. Other stocks in the news included Victoria (VCP), Randall & Quilter Investment Holding (RQIH), Comptoir (COM), Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH), Vela Technologies (VELA), CORETX (COR), Gameaccount Network (GAN) and Derwent London (DLN).
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