London markets dip modestly in early trade on Monday nudging back from record closing highs hit late last week, with a swathe of mining and retail-related stocks providing direction. Wall St closed higher overnight Friday, while Asian markets are up this morning.

The FTSE 100 index FTSE 100 slips around 19 points, or 0.3%, to 7,071, while midcaps fade similarly, the FTSE 250 index off around 45 points to 17,834. WTI crude is largely flat at $51.66/bbl, while Brent inches a fraction higher to $57.96/bbl.

Car parts-to-bicycles seller Halfords (HFD) reverses 8.4p to 462.6p on the resignation of finance director Andrew Findlay, who's off to oversee the numbers at budget airline EasyJet (EZJ).

Irish packaging company Smurfit Kappa (SKG) gains 2.5% to 29.4p on rumours US-based International Paper is considering a £6 billion takeover bid for the company.

Fresh from the news it may be sitting on a substantial resource near Gatwick airport UK Oil & Gas (UKOG:AIM) announces it has completed the acquisition a 40% interest in the onshore PEDL126 licence from private operator Magellan Petroleum for a nominal sum of £1. Its interest in the acreage – which contains the Markwells Wood oil discovery – is now 100%. The shares are down 3.95% to 2.16p after rising in early trading.

Plastic additives specialist Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM:AIM) tumbles 17.6% to 8.8p on a 12% fall in revenue to £6.35 million in 2014, largely due to timing issues for sales of its d2w masterbatch. Adjusted loss per share has increased to 0.23p from 0.11p a year earlier.

Among the bigger movers, Kefi Minerals (KEFI:AIM) rises 11.6% to 1.2p on news that the Ethiopia-focused miner will today (13 Apr) receive the licence to start mining at its Tulu Kapi gold project.

Agriculture, food and engineering combine Carr's (CARR) cultivates a 10.1% gain to 152.5p after reporting another record first half performance and news of a positive start to the second half.

Infectious disease-focused biotech Epistem (EHP:AIM) leaps 16.9% to 310p on expectations that India’s regulator is ready to approve the sale of its tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic in the country. India accounts for a quarter of the $1 billion TB diagnostic market.

Medical device-maker Akers Biosciences (AKR:AIM) gains 7.1% to 300p on selling its blood-clotting  thrombocytopenia tests in nine additional countries, including Montenegro, Bulgaria and Morocco.

Image Scan (IGE:AIM) crashes more than 20% to 1.88p as it warns investors to expect substantial half-year losses. The medical kit design minnow blames a slowdown in new orders.

Malaysian ticketing system supplier Galasys (GLS:AIM) rallies 7% to 24p as it books 35% hike in full year pre-tax profit on a 45% revenue rise.

Better news comes from Imaginatik (IMTK:AIM), up 3.7% to 3.5p, after securing a pair of new contracts. One is with a US-based higher educational institution and the other with a global retail consumer products company.

Prospective Falkland Islands oil explorer Argos Resources (ARG:AIM) will be a participant in the current drilling campaign in the region as it farms out its acreage in the North Falklands Basin. Noble Energy (NBL:NYSE) and Edison International will take over ownership of the licence, PL001, in return for one exploration well plus a chunk of back costs already incurred. Argos will retain an overriding royalty interest of 5% of gross revenues from all hydrocarbon discoveries along with $2.75 million in cash on completion plus $800,000 annually from next year until royalty income starts to come through.

Issue Date: 13 Apr 2015