UK share indexes surrender the rump of yesterday's gains in early trading on what looks likely to be a relatively quiet Friday session. Blue-chip retailers are out of favour, as are several insurers and banks. Asia bourses eased overnight, while Wall Street was mixed.
The FTSE 100 is off around 85 points, or 1.3%, at 6,111, while midcaps are down similarly, the FTSE 250 falling 161 points to 16,926. Europe's major markets are all off also, lead by today's 1.7% decline on the German DAX.
On the corporate front, retailers carry the can for the worst of today's falls, on worries over consumer spending prospects, with Next (NXT) leading blue chips and retailers south with a 3.5% fall £75.60, and is closely trailed by Dixons Carphone (DC.), down 2.7% at 419.4p.
Among the bigger movers, antibody developer Bioventix (BVXP:AIM) leaps 17.6% to £11.00 on news that full year results will be ‘significantly’ ahead of expectations thanks to strong revenue growth and solid cost control. Prelims are due on 5 October.
Systems integrator and analytics minnow IS Solutions (ISL:AIM) puts out a very encouraging trading update that has investors chasing the shares more than 30% higher at 69p. The company says it is confident of another strong performance for the year ending March 2016 with revenue and profitability exceeding current market expectations.
Going the other way is Kodal Minerals (KOD:AIM), down 27% to 0.04p, which books further annual losses. The pre-tax deficit has shot up to £3.9 million from £232,705 last time thanks to falling commodities prices.
But Goldplat (GDP:AIM) reports significant progress on capital projects and new contracts aimed at improving the production and efficiency of its gold recovery operation in South Africa. That news sparks a 22% share price jump to 2.75p.
Elsewhere, distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber attacks software vendor Corero Network Security (CNS:AIM) rallies strongly as directors provide substantial support to the firm's recent £5 million fund raise. The shares jump 23% to 13p on Friday.
It’s a sea of red for outsourcers, as markets digest weak data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the UK services industry as well as anecdotal evidence from firms like HSS Hire (HSS) that demand from the firms for products is unexpectedly weak.
Perennial struggler Serco (SRP) is hardest hit, tumbling 4.2% to 106p but some of the more consistent performers are also being dragged down. G4S (GFS) sheds 3.2% to 241p, Babcock (BAB) falls 2.9% to 945p and Capita (CPI) is down 2.8%.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4music (G4M:AIM) gains 2.5p at 142.5p on a positive maiden trading update since joining AIM in June, flagging a 43% interim sales surge to £12.5 million. We outlined the online retailer's growth prospects in our Under the Bonnet analysis recently.