London shares lose early gains to drift lower as investor optimism is quickly swept aside despite a fairly robust showing on Wall Street overnight. The FTSE 100 index slips around 23 points to 6,328, matching the prevailing mood on Europe's main markets on Tuesday, although UK midcaps perform better. The FTSE 250 is up close on 30 points at 16,945, albeit a fractional gain.
In corporate news, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza-owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG) surges to the head of the Footsie leader board, up 3.6% to £23.94, as it posts a 4.8% rise in global revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the third quarter. This was largely down to room rate increases of 3.6%. The biggest RevPAR growth was in Continental Europe, up 10.1%, driven by solid trading in Germany and a recovery in Southern Europe and Russia. The group now has 727,000 rooms, up 4.3% on last year, and is signing hotels into its pipeline at the fastest rate since 2008.
Among the bigger movers, struggling Latin American-based energy supplier Rurelec (RUR:AIM) collapses as one of its biggest shareholders is placed onto Administration. Sterling Trust, which owns 303.1 million shares in the company, or fraction less tan 54%, called in the administrators yesterday, putting a massive question mark over Rurelec's own future. The shares slump 35% to 0.73p.
Teathers Financial (TEA:AIM) jumps close on 16% to 4.63p as it reveals the first IPO has been offered to investors via the company's app.
Resources minnow SolGold (SOLG:AIM) jumps 12% to 2.13p as its unveils the findings of its final assay results for hole CSD-15-012, on the Cascabel gold-copper porphyry project in Ecuador. The report shows a world-class intersection gold and copper.
Goe-mapping technology tiddler 1Spatial (SPA:AIM) falls 4% to 5.88p as it reports another half of losses, even if they are lower. The firm's first-half pre-tax loss stacks up to £1.49 million, marginally better than the £1.52 million reverse a year ago.
Mechanical failures bring mining to a standstill for Aureus Mining (AUE:AIM). The stoppage at its process plant at the New Liberty mine, could be short-term with the company hoping to bring in a mobile unit by 23 October, but investors don't like the delay, selling the shares down 8.5% to 18.75p.
Profit taking sends cancer treatment developer Scancell (SCLP:AIM) 6% lower to 23.5p thanks to improving safety data from its clinical trials. Research also highlights the potential of its pipeline to improve response rates to its treatments among cancer suffers.
Elsewhere, Premier Inn and Costa-owner Whitbread (WTB) rises 2.2% to £48.31 on a 13.8% rise in pre-tax profit to £291.3 million in the six months to 27 August with revenues 11.3% higher at £1.4 billion. Like-for-like sales in Premier Inn and Costa are up by 5% and 4.4% respectively and the group is on track to have 5,500 new hotel rooms and 220 new Costa stores by the end of the financial year.
Cutting-edge online fashion website ASOS (ASC:AIM), a running Shares Play of the Week, rises 2.9% (84.5p) to £30.13 after delivering in-line final results. New CEO Nick Beighton flags a good start to the new financial year and guides towards 20% 2016 sales growth, though gross margins will be lower and operating margins flat, as ASOS plans to invest in cutting prices and in its logistics infrastructure and technology.
PPHE Hotel (PPH) gains 1.3% to 668.5p after signing a hotel management agreement for a 160-room art'otel at Battersea Power Station. The hotel will open in 2019 with a roof garden, outdoor rooftop pool and destination restaurant.
Kurdistan oil producer Genel Energy (GENL) falls 3.9% to 322p as it downgrades revenue guidance, but pares larger losses from earlier this morning after announcing at 9.20am it has received a $16.5 million payment for crude exports from the Taq Taq field from the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Private label household and personal care products play McBride's (MCB) marvellous run continues, the shares marked up 0.5p to 165.5p on news of a positive start to the financial year. New CEO Rik De Vos says implementation of the new turnaround strategy, outlined with September's preliminaries and which Shares detailed here, has begun.
McColl's Retail (MCLS) is marked down 2.7% to 146p. Plans to sell 100 newsagents 'for no less than their asset value', in order to focus on its convenience stores business, leave investors cold on Tuesday.