London shares begin Tuesday trading modestly on the back foot with investors casting a concerned eye towards weakness overnight on Asian markets. The FTSE 100 eases 4.5 points lower to 6,242 in early deals.
Heading the Footsie leaderboard is part state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which now expects to 'significantly' beat bad loan loss estimates of around £1 billion thanks to sturdy trading and improving macro trends. The shares rise 3.9% to 375.7p.
Going the other way, however, is fashion-to-home furnishings giant Next (NXT) as warm weather hits sales. The group says third quarter sales are running below forecasts as the sun shines through September. Should warm weather continue during October, Next cautions it could cut its full year profit guidance, spooking the market and sparking a 3.9% share price slump to £65.95, to lead the Footsie loser board. .
Web-based tumble dryers-to-televisions seller AO World (AO.) is marked up 7.85p (4.1%) to 199.85p ahead of its German website going 'live' tomorrow. That's six months ahead of schedule and AO also pleases with a reassuring half-year trading update.
Portable hotels group Snoozebox (ZZZ:AIM) rises 7.7% to 7p after securing £15.6 million new financing from SQN Asset Finance Income Fund (SQN). It also appoints a new finance boss and head of hotels, together with reporting half-year results where pre-tax losses narrow from £5.1 million to £2.3 million.
Trinidad focussed oil producer Range Resources (RRL:AIM) slumps 26.5% to 1.18p as its full year pre-tax loss more than trebles to $64.8 million. The widened loss for the 12 months to 30 June mainly results from write-offs associated with non-core assets and increased finance costs. The company also announces a new $15 million loan
Fellow Trinidad play Trinity Exploration & Production (TRIN:AIM) is also down, 7.4% off at to 74.6p, as its reports a net loss of $22.9 million for the first half on unsuccessful exploration and increased costs. The group also postpones development drilling on its Trintes field beyond the end of the year to ensure wells are delivered on time and on budget.
Restaurant chain The Real Greek is to return to the stock market after Fulham Shore (FS.P:ISDX) announces plans to buy its holding company Kefi. The business was previously part of former AIM-quoted Clapham House which was acquired by Nando's in 2010. Run by former Pizza Express boss David Page, Fulham Shore plans to move from ISDX to AIM on 20 October.
Recruitment software supplier Dillistone (DSG:AIM) hits the acquisition trail, alongside robust interim results, agreeing to buy training and testing services supplier ISV Software in a deal that could reach £1 million. A £500,000 share placing priced at a 7.5% discount to yesterday's 102.75p close explains today's 5% share price slip to 97.5p in the Shares running Play of the Week.
Sports nutrition products maker Science in Sport (SIS:AIM) skips 2.4% higher to 75p on a positive half year trading update, flagging 23% sales growth to £4.92 million in the six months to September. Shares highlighted the micro cap's attractions in June.
Value-focused meat retailer Crawshaw (CRAW:AIM) rises 2.2% to 58.5p as interims impress. The company reveals pre-tax profit more than doubled in the six months to end July, and positive like-for-like sales trends continue, as flagged by Shares in June.
A disappointing pre-close update and the departure of finance director Iain Torrens drives ICAP (IAP) down 8p to 388p (2%). Ongoing regulatory uncertainty and a tough global broking environment continue to weigh on the stock, according to Numis analyst Johnathan Goslin.
Security contractor minnow Westminster (WSG:AIM) announces a new 10-year franchise deal worth £1.9 million in Mexico. The announcement, which comes alongside its half year results, helps the stock nudge 2.1% higher to 38.8p.