FTSE indices were mixed early on thanks to gains among gold-mining specialists, pharmas and utilities, with investors looking to this afternoon's US non-farm payrolls data. Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 14.36 points, or 0.21%, to 6760.33, while FTSE 250 was down 70.52, or 0.4%, to 17,779.1. At 8.38am, WTI crude was up 0.3% to $43.29/bbl and Brent was up 0.22% to $45.55/bbl. Gold was down 0.17% to fetch $1314.9/oz. Gold-mining titans Fresnillo (FRES) led blue chip risers with a gain of 1.85% to 1649, and further back was Randgold Resources (RRS), ahead 1.03% to 7325p. Among pharmas, Hikma (HIK) added 1.64% to 2112p, while Glaxosmithkline (GSK) rose 1.17% to 1618.25p. Meantime, National Grid (NG.) led utilities with its rise of 1.23% to 1053.25p. Also up were a mix of beverages specialists, tobacco stocks, oilies and several retailers and supermarkets. Blue-chip risers and fallers were roughly evenly split. To the downside, house builders behind Berkeley Group (BKG), off 4.43% to 2652p, and Taylor Wimpey (TW.), lower 3.41% to 159.95p, as profiteers weighed amid Brexit jitters. Commercial property and other big-ticket miners were casualties, as were several banks and insurers. BIGGER MOVIES Proxama (PROX), up 28.57% to 0.68p, said that, on Sept. 1, it was certified by Google to deliver Physical Web user experiences for consumers, after graduating from its new beacon certification programme. Eckoh (ECK), down 25.51% to 36.5p, has warned that its FY pretax profits would be below market expectations. Trading Emissions (TRE), up 25.97% to 3.25p, confirms the sale of a portion of its Italian solar portfolio. Total net proceeds from the sale of the investments are estimated to be &euro8.5m. LONDON HIGHLIGHTS McCarthy & Stone (MCS), down 11.36% to 185.7p, notes evidence of some weakness in the secondary housing market since its June 29 trading update. Go-Ahead (GOG), up 7.33% to 2144.5p, reports a robust financial performance for the year to 2 July with overall results slightly ahead of management expectations. Midatech Pharma (MTPH), down 6.87% to 156p, has widened its H1 pretax loss of £9.6m, from a year-earlier loss £5.3m. Revenue was £3.5m, from £121,000. Constellation Healthcare Technologies (CHT), up 5.26% to 150p, said its H1 revenues rose 78% to $57.0m, with EBITDA up 121% to $21.1m. Bond International Software (BDI), up 5.05% to 114.5p, has confirmed it has received a highly preliminary approach from ESW regarding its possible intention to make a cash offer. Thalassa Holdings (THAL), down 4.09% to 41p, has agreed the terms of a conditional investment of £400,000 for 40m new shares of Papua Mining at 1p each. The closing mid-price of a Papua share on 1 September 2016 was 1.875p. Segro (SGRO), down 1.31% to 449.25p, said occupational demand for modern, well-located warehouse space has continued to be strong over the past two months, since UK's non-binding Brexit referendum result. It also announced a £340m placing. Low & Bonar (LWB), up 1.22% to 62.25p, has completed the sale of its artificial grass yarns production business, for €27.0m on a cash-free/debt-free basis to the Mattex. Other stocks in the news included Fyffes (FFY), Spectris (SXS), TomCo (TOM), Gaming Realms (GMR), Ergomed (ERGO), Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BVA), Fusionex (FXI), Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), President Energy (PPC) and EMIS (EMIS).
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