London blue chips was barely in positive territory after opening, appearing to shrug off hefty falls among miners and a dip in early deals. Mid caps also eased forward a wafer. Gains on both indices appear unconvincing. At 8.36am, FTSE 100 was up 0.02% to 6839.22. FTSE 250 was up 0.04% to 17,938.37. Around the same time, WTI crude was up 0.26% to $47.10/bbl and Brent was up 0.1% to $49.31. London's blue chips were led up by Ashtead (AHT), up 2.39% to 1285p, with CRH (CRH) following and ahead 1.93% to 2589p. Bunzl (BNZL) firmed 1.53% to 2457p as its H1 revenues and earnings rose. It had completed two further deals in Canada, and has entered into an agreement to acquire a business in Hungary. Gold was down 0.31% to $1323/oz. Antofagasta (ANTO) shed 4.25% to 518.5p, while Fresnillo (FRES) faltered 3.58% to 1726p and Glencore (GLEN) ebbed 3.51% to 178.5p. Anglo American (AAL), down 3.13% to 831.6p, has completed the sale of its 70% interest in the Foxleigh metallurgical coal mine in Australia, to a consortium led by Taurus Fund Management. LONDON HIGHLIGHTS Vast Resources (VAST) has noted positive progress at its Manaila Polymetallic Mine in Romania based on the test work carried out by SGS (UK) in H1 2016 and managed on Vast's behalf by independent processing specialists Minxcon (Pty) Ltd. Dewhurst (DWHT) expects its FY profits to be significantly higher than current market expectations. Pressure Technologies (PRES) anticipates its FY results at group level will be a loss, against a market expectation of a profit. Charles Taylor (CTR) reports good first half results with revenue and profit before tax were up against strong comparatives. Bunzl (BNZL) said H1 revenues and earnings rose, and it announced completion of two further acquisitions in Canada. It has also entered into an agreement to acquire a business in Hungary. RusHydro (HYDR) said H1 revenues rose 10.2% to RUB194,340m, while net profits increased 48.4% to RUB29,770m. IG Design (IGR) said Q1 trading was in line with management and market expectations with growth across all regions. Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has acquired Network Direct, a national network of financial advisers based in Wolverhampton, for a maximum of up to £4m, of which £1m is payable upon completion. Milestone Group (MSG) has announced the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Green Skills Partnership (GSP) to promote Milestone's Passion Project and its digital charitable giving platform, Alchemy. Inspired Energy (INSE) said its H1 revenues rose 56% to £10.16m. Adjusted EBITDA rose 52% to £3.75m and adjusted profit before tax rose 44% to £3.31m. NMC Health (NMC) has announced the addition of a further 260 beds spread across two Saudi Arabian assets in the key western and eastern regions of the kingdom. Polymetal International (POLY) has confirmed completion of construction of its Svetloye mine in Okhotsk and first gold production. Science in Sport (SIS) is to become the Official Sports Nutrition Partner to Liverpool Football Club for the 2016/2017 season. Braemar Shipping Services (BMS) has put a cost-reduction programme in place to counter the fall in revenues following lower activity levels and freight rates. Salt Lake Potash (SO4) has issued the results of a Scoping Study on its Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash (SOP) Project in Western Australia. Sphere Medical Holding (SPHR) confirmed the first sale of its Proxima system in Belgium with an initial order to the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, a 700 bed teaching hospital conducting scientific research, which has evaluated the Proxima system during the past year.
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