Financials and leisure stocks hold back the FTSE 100 in early deals as the blue chip index treads water at 6,279. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is the blue chip index's biggest faller, down 1.7% to 226p, alongside Barclays (BARC), 1.1% lower at 178p.
Solid industrial production data in the UK fails to spark demand for mid caps with the FTSE 250 trading 0.3% lower.
Office for National Statistics data shows industrial output strengthened markedly in April, up 1.6% with manufacturing the biggest contributor to the rise. Declines in the measure during February and March had led analysts to forecast zero growth in April.
In company news, embattled supermarkets operator Sainsbury's (SBRY) skips 2.4% higher to 252.6p despite reporting first quarter like-for-like sales down 0.8% (ex fuel) in a deflationary food market. The fall was better-than-expected, while CEO Mike Coupe heralds a 'solid start to the year with like-for-like transaction growth across all our channels and total volume growth', in particular highlighting near-5% clothing sales growth, boosted by the latest football-inspired range ahead of the European Championships.
Cash-generative books, magazines and stationery seller WH Smith (SMWH) slips 29p to £17.11 as its third quarter trading update comes in a little light of expectations. Over the fourteen weeks to 4 June, like-for-like sales in the Travel division grew 3%, below the 3.5% expected by Cantor Fitzgerald, while High Street like-for-like sales declined by 3%.
Pure-play online fashion retailer Boohoo.com (BOO:AIM) gives up 0.75p at 56p, despite raising full-year sales growth guidance to between 25%-30%, as investors focus on news investment in the proposition has meant profitability as percentage of sales has been reduced.
Overstated earnings in the 12 months to June 2015 and the first half of the current financial year see security Croma (CSSG:AIM) warn profits will be materially below expectations. Its shares are down 16.2% to 36.9p despite the company reassuring its cash position is unaffected.
Indian unconventional energy play Oilex (OEX:AIM) is up 17.7% to 0.5p as it settles legal proceedings with peer Zeta Resources – making a payment of A$490,000 to cover costs. Zeta pulled out of a funding agreement claiming Oilex had failed to disclose material information prior to its initial investment.
Car competition runner Best of the Best (BOTB:AIM) adds 3% to 203.5p on a 10.9% rise in pre-tax profit to £1.06 million in the year to 30 April, with revenue up 12.6% to £10.1 million. The main driver is online sales, which increased by 40.6% to £7 million following a significant investment in digital marketing.
Online gaming events business Gfinity (GFIN:AIM) rises 2.8% to 9.1p after signing an agreement with Futhead.com to run a series of FIFA 16 Ultimate Team competitions on its eSports platform. Six online competitions will run each week in Europe and North America, starting on 10 June to coincide with the UEFA Euro 2016 football championship.
Buying new properties and redeveloping some of its existing assets boost small business landlord Workspace’s (WKP) rents by 28.4% to £74.1 million in the year to 31 March. That helped the value of its portfolio jump 21% to £1.8 billion. The shares move 4.6% higher to 871p on the value of its net assets rising 31.3% to 923p during the year, while a recommended 25% dividend increase to 15p a share was also well received.