Source - SMW
London stocks remained adrift to midday, following the thin falls seen in France and Germany, as traders assessed concerns about China’s economic outlook, Middle East tensions and a global glut of crude oil. Retail, pharmas, house builders and financials were in focus.

Towards midday, FTSE 100 was lower 7.2 points, or 0.12%, to 5905.24. FTSE 250 faded 67.43, or 0.4%, to 16,665.2. At 11.41am, WTI crude was at USD32.56/bbl and Brent was at USD32.86/bbl. Safe-haven gold was up at USD1103/oz, but industrial metal copper was down at USD198/lb.

Sports Direct (SPD) continued out of favour with a fall of 1.49% to 426.85p, while Marks & Spencer (MKS) tapered 1.32% to 425p and Next (NXT) ebbed 0.62% to 6782.5p. Others in the sector eked out mild gains. Financials traced Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.), off 1.82% to 1352p, and St James's Place (STJ), lower 1.41% to 908.5p.

Among house builders, Taylor Wimpey (TW.) shed 0.57% to 192.6p despite reporting a strong trading performance for 2015. Sector pals Barratt (BDEV), lower 1.05% to 590.75p, and Persimmon (PSN), off 1% to 1972p, were also on the back foot. Commercial property, however, was rising.

Plenty of pharmas were southbound among the 50 falling blue chips, these guided by Hikma (HIK), wheezing 1.21% down to 2170.5p. To the upside big-ticket miners enjoyed limited gains after Anglo American (AAL), up 4.03% to 238.43p, and Glencore (GLEN), up 1.74% to 78.83p. Insurers and utilities figured on both the winners' and losers' ladders.

BIGGER MOVERS

Falkland Oil and Gas (FOGL), Rockhopper (RKH) and Premier Oil (PMO) have announced successful results of the 14/20-2 exploration well on the Isobel/Elaine structure. FOGL rose 12.05% to 8.18p, RKH added 12.91% to 27.38p and PMO fell 0.83% to 29.75p.

Satellite Solutions Worldwide (SAT) orbited 7.23% higher to 4.45p as it inked a contract with BT (BT.A) to become one of the satellite broadband retail service providers for the UK Government scheme to offer subsidised satellite broadband to homes and businesses with internet connections of less than 2MB.

Beowulf Mining (BEM), up 9.75% to 6.48p, has acquired Oy Fennoscandian Resources AB, a privately owned graphite exploration company with projects in Finland. TPG Group (TPG) was down 11.76% as group CFO Mark Crawford stood down.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

ReNeuron (RENE) climbed 7.69% to 3.5p on receiving a GBP2.1m grant from government agency Innovate UK to fund pre-clinical development work. Savills (SVS) firmed 4.38% to 882p on stating it sees 2015's results beating expectations thanks to it closing 'significant' commercial property deals towards the end of the year.

Arria NLG (NLG), up 6.42% to 29p, has received notice from the US Patent and Trademark Office that its application for a patent on its Method and Apparatus for Situational Analysis Text Generation will be granted.

Skyepharma (SKP) added 5.54% to 414p as 2015 revenues beat expectations thanks to a GBP7.4m milestone payment from licencing partner Mundipharma linked to sales of asthma therapy flutiform.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) accelerated 5.2% to 86p as investors welcomed the immediately earnings enhancing GBP10.8m buy of a Land Rover franchise in Welwyn Garden City. Koovs (KOOV) rose 4.26% to 24.5p on news sales surged 210% to GBP2.96m over the 14 weeks to Jan. 3. 

Coal of Africa (CZA), up 5.11% to 2.47p, notes the recent announcement on the Shanghai Stock Exchange by Haohua Energy International (Hong Kong) Resource Co Ltd indicating its intention to subscribe for USD5.0m in Coal of Africa at a price of USD0.0435 a share. 

Scancell (SCLP), up 4.65% to 22.5p, has issued data showing patient immunologic response to cancer vaccine SCIB1 can be demonstrated through monitoring changes in the diversity of T cells found in the blood. NetPlay TV (NPT), down 3.39% to 7.13p, has withdrawn from talks with Sportech in relation to the potential acquisition of The Football Pools business.

Taptica Int'l (TAP), up 4% to 65p, expects to report FY revenue growth of almost 19% over FY 2014 revenues, slightly ahead of market expectations. The mobile segment is expected to contribute approximately 66% of FY 2015 revenue, up from 18% of FY 2014 revenue. 

Other stocks in the news included Robert Walters (RWA), Costain (COST), NAHL (NAH), Galasys (GLS), Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), Savills (SVS), Laura Ashley (ALY), GVC (GVC), Edenville Energy (EDL), Xchanging (XCH), Etalon (ETLN), Skyepharma (SKP), Hargreaves Services (HSP), Summit Germany (SMTG), Duet Real Estate Finance (DREF), NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF), Gfinity (GFIN), 1Spatial (SPA) and Nighthawk Energy (HAWK).