London shares continue their weak run in early trade on Friday as investors cast wary eyes towards the Greece debt saga and OPEC's meeting later today. Supermarkets and retailers are on the back foot, matching losses overnight on Wall Street. The FTSE 100 index dips close on 50 points, or 0.5%, to 6,811, declines largely matched by UK midcaps.
Mobile phones giant Vodafone (VOD) is among the leading losers as it confirms talks over a potential tie-up with US media and communications group Liberty Global (LBTYA), owner of UK pay-TV player Virgin Media. But investors are wary of the possible cost doing a deal might require, and the shares lose early gains to drift 2% lower to 242.8p.
Supermarket Morrisons (MRW) is also weak, down 1.9% to 174.9p, but a modest rally across the miners space offsets some of the damage, sector giant Anglo American (AAL) leading the way, and heading the Footsie leader board with a 2.3% rise to £10.28.
Among the bigger movers, Guinea-focused gold explorer Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA:AIM) slumps 48% to 0.25p after saying it has just £100,000 left in the bank and a strategic partner has yet to be found.
A running Shares Play of the Week, Diamondcorp (DCP:AIM) retreats 7.6% to 10.63p after raising a slug of new cash at a slight discount to the market price. The miner has secured £3.2 million via a share placing, it plans to get a further £2 million via an open offer and has scrapped a previously-agreed royalty financing agreement.
UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG:AIM) jumps 10% to 2.9p as it confirms estimates of the Horse Hill-1 well by Schlumberger reveal an overall Oil in Place (OIP) for the Jurassic section to be 271.4 MMBO per sq m.
Elsewhere, car parts-to-bicycles retailer Halfords (HFD), a running Shares Play of the Week, accelerates 6.7p higher to 491.2p on better-than-expected full-year results, showing taxable profits 11.4% higher at £81.1 million, driven by strong annual cycling sales and a good fourth quarter for car maintenance.