London shares remains under pressure in early trade on Tuesday as investor continue to fret over concerns in China, where the central bank of the world's second largest economy slashed the renminbi overnight to try to bolster a slowing economy. The People’s Bank of China cut the daily fixed rate to the dollar by 1.9% to 6,228, the most on record.
In the UK the benchmark FTSE 100 index dips around 33 points, or 0.5%, to 6,703. Britain's midcaps are also on the back foot although losses are not as deep as on the Footsie, the FTSE 250 index fading by a more modest 26 points, or 0.15%, to 17,735.
In corporate news, life insurer Partnership Assurance (PA.) rallies close on 12% to 166.25p as it receives an all-share takeover offer from rival Just Retirement (JRG), valuing the target business at £669 million. Just Retirement nudges 1.5% up to 200.2p.
Public sector outsourcer Serco (SRP) gains 2.3% to 128p as trading comes in a little better-than-expected in half year update to 30 June 2015. A trading profit target of £90 million looks well within reach and ‘risks are now weighted on the upside’, according to chief executive Rupert Soames.
Mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO) is also on the back foot after chief financial officer Chris Lynch apparently tells analysts that costs could be further reduced amid challenging markets.
Elsewhere, Eurasia Mining (EUA:AIM) jumps 12.5% to 0.9p as it begins a drilling programme at the Monchetundra PGM licence area. It expects this work will add reserves and resources to the project for incorporation into a mining licence application.
Fellow mining minnow Stratex (STI:AIM) is also in demand, up 9.5% to 2.3p, after providing encouraging results from its Dalafin gold project in Senegal, following exploration work at the Madden Bafe prospect in the south of the licence area.
Asia Pacific online gambling and media company PCG Entertainment (PCGE:AIM) tumbles 7% to 4.9p after the shares are readmitted to trading on AIM and announces the proposed reverse takeover of gaming software distributor Center Point Development for $10 million. PCG, which made a loss before tax of $8.7 million in 2014, says the cashflow expected to be generated by Center Point should be 'transformative' for the group.
Park Plaza operator PPHE Hotel (PPH) rises 4.4% to 646.5p after saying first half results on 27 August will beat expectations with a 12% increase in revenue to €140 million owing to improved occupancy and room rates in the Netherlands, Germany and Hungary and the strength of the pound against the euro, its reporting currency. Strong trading at PPHE, a running Shares Play of the Week, is expected to continue in the second half.
Newly arrived on AIM is media build-and-build business Gloo Networks (GLOO:AIM). The shares nudge 2.5p higher to 122.5p after successfully raising £30 million at 120p per share. The company's busy acquisition plan is being run by respected media moguls, CEO Rebecca Miskin, formerly digital strategy director and Change Agent at Hearst Magazines UK, and Juan Lopez-Valcarcel, who was previously chief digital officer for Pearson (PSON).
Pollster YouGov (YOU:AIM) is up 2.9% to 117p as it reports numbers for the 12 months to 31 July will be in line with expectations and says its balance sheet remains strong with cash of £9 million at the end of the period.
A positive half-year results from aqueous polymers specialist Synthomer (SYNT) lifts shares by 1.7% to 335.3p. While revenues slipped 8.1% to £468.7 million in the six months to June, margin improvement meant that operating profit in the period rose 8.4% to £55.4 million.