European stock markets continue to slide as the Greece debt saga drags on, with London shares mirroring the performances in financial performance in France and Germany. The FTSE 100 slips 0.3% to 6,516, while France CAC 40 and Germany's Xetra Dax decline by 0.4% and 0.25% respectively. Falling crude prices add to the downward pressure on share prices, with oil services firm Wood Group (WG.) among the leading All-Share fallers, down 3.7% to 609.5p. This follows Monday's biggest drop in the oil price in five months – sector peer Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) is off 2.1% to 793.3p.
Going the other way, chip designs champion ARM (ARM) heads the Footsie leader board in early trade after analyst at investment bank Morgan Stanley add the stock to its 'Best Ideas' list for Europe and upgraded the stock to an ‘overweight’ rating. 'Past the iPhone 6 upgrade cycle, we like the long duration of the revenue and earnings growth, in a context of slow global growth,' the analysts say.
Global online fashion store ASOS (ASC:AIM) struts 32p higher to £38.83 on a strong trading statement covering the four months to June. Retail sales are up 20% to £386 million and there's a better-than-expected recovery in gross margins, up 280 basis points to indicate significantly less discounting in the period.
High street retail behemoth Marks & Spencer (MKS) is marked up 6.25p (1.14%) to 553.25p on a mixed first quarter trading update. Though performances in food and online were strong, Marks & Spencer was unable to sustain the momentum in its UK General Merchandise business, reporting a 0.4% like-for-like sales decline.
Among the bigger movers, medical testing kit-maker Omega Diagnostics (ODX:AIM) leads the fallers in early trading by diving 20.7% to 18.1p on delays to launching a new HIV-testing product. The device’s performance deteriorates after five weeks so further development is needed to improve stability.
Little mobile security kit suppliers SerVision (SEV:AIM) jumps close on 10% to 4.38p as it bags a a major CCTV contract at Gatwick Airport. The deal, worth and initial £20,000, will see the company supply its live mobile CCTV systems and monthly data services to enhance, secure and protect the mobile assets of the airfield operations.
Elsewhere, white collar recruiter Robert Walters (RWA:AIM) is boosted by a second quarter trading update showing net fee income (NFI), a key measure of performance, grew 11% year-on-year and 15% at constant currencies. UK NFI was up 19% driven by financial services. Shares in the stock gain 6.4% to 439p.
Professional information and training provider Wilmington (WIL) is up 4.1% to 265.34p as it agrees a $20.6 million deal for US healthcare and finance events company Financial Research Associates. Read Shares exclusive web story here.
Rugged electronic components designer and supplier Solid State (SOLI:AIM) puts up impressive full year to 31 March results, showing a 40% jump in pre-tax profit and hiking its payout to 12p from 8.5p a year earlier. That the shares have come off 6% to 842.5p is a reflection of the stocks strong run into the figures, and in the wake of the shares featuring as a Shares' Play of the Week last Thursday (2 Jul).
Resources minnow Vast Resources (VAST:AIM) is more than 6% higher at 1.78p as it closes an agreement to purchase 50.1% of the issued share capital of Sinarom Mining, the company that owns the Manaila polymetallic mine, Romania, for €.1.00 plus debt.
Mobile coupons and rewards technology supplier Eagle Eye (EYE:AIM) rises close on 5% to 208p, as it wins a multi-year contract with Sainsbury's (SBRY) and talks confidently about its future prospects and strategic progress.