London’s blue chip FTSE index falls 10 points to 6,728 as oil prices hit a three month low. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) sheds 3p to £18.15 on the news, while BP (BP.) falls 0.4% to 426.7p and BG Group (BG.) drops 0.3% to £10.67.
Financial recruitment consultant Michael Page International (MPI) sheds 2.5% to 541p on a second quarter trading update covering the three months to 30 June. Net fee income (NFI), which reflects commissions less the cost of consultants, grows 6% in total, with 12.8% growth in the UK. NFI is held back by a weak euro affecting MPI's European operations and the closure of an office in Russia.
Defence specialist Meggitt (MGGT) nudges 2% higher to 479.5p as investors speculate on press rumours that the £3.7 billion cap has begun a strategy review following an approach earlier in the year from a US peer.
Dairy Crest (DCG) sours 7p to 559p on a mixed first quarter trading update. The last British listed dairy processor, whose disposal of its dairies operations to Germany's Muller is under investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority, flags another strong quarter from Cathedral City, though sales of Clover and Country Life fell in 'a butter and spreads market that continues to decline'.
Free-to-air broadcaster ITV (ITV) falls 1.1% to 273.1p as Deutsche Bank downgrades from 'hold' to 'sell' commenting that if finds the 'upside case of retransmission fees, Liberty takeout and cash returns/dividends unconvincing'.
Consumer lender International Personal Finance (IPF) enjoys some respite after a shocking 25% slump yesterday on unfavourable regulatory changes affecting its Polish business. Shares in the emerging markets specialist gain 3.3% to 364p.
Online casino operator 32Red (TTR:AIM) gains 3.9% to 66.5p on buying Roxy Palace, an owner of more than 500 online casino games, for £8.4 million. Chief executive Ed Ware says the deal fits well with its regulated markets growth strategy.
Regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press (JPR) slumps 16% to 119.25p as it warns on profits. Citing the uncertainty generated by May's General Election and the impact this had on advertisers' spending plans. Johnston cautions that total revenue for 26 weeks to July 4 will fall by around 5% year on year and despite action to mitigate the impact, first half profits will also be down marginally.
Russia and emerging markets focused events firm ITE (ITE) is up 4.2% to 167.5p as it confirms it is trading in line with expectations and reiterates its belief that its Russian business has stabilised. We enjoyed an in-depth chat with chief executive Russell Taylor recently which you can read here.
Airline catering provider Journey (JNY:AIM) soars 6.7% to 150.5p after winning a five-year contract to provide in-flight catering services to FedEx’s crew members at one of the busiest US airports, Memphis. Journey has operated the Los Angeles in-flight catering services for FedEx since 2013 and recently renewed the contract for a further five years.
Paragon Diamonds (PRG:AIM) advances 6.8% to 5.5p after entering into a legally-binding share purchase agreement with Lucara, from which it is buying a diamond project in Lesotho.
A discounted placing sends Armadale Capital (ACP:AIM) down 15% to 4.25p. The £400,000 of new money will help fund drilling work to expand the resource at a gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.