London equities are mixed to midday -- blue chips down and mid caps up, both little moved -- in a session with a rich seam of corporate news that has seen big share-price moves in some stocks. Top-100 index fallers featured financials. Provident Financial (PFG) fell 1.82% to 2973p, Standard Life (SL.) faded 1.79% to 361.4p and Standard Chartered (STAN) lost 1.79% to 646.7p. Thereafter were several leisure players after Carnival (CCL), down 1.07% to 3464.5p, and Merlin (MERL), lower 0.95% to 483.05p. Also retreating were multiple pharmas, several oil majors and a number of telecos. Others in these sectors rose. Blue-chip fallers outpaced winners 57 to 43. Moves were mostly muted. Berkeley Group (BKG), up 3.49% to 2784p, re-iterated its guidance for the delivery of £2.0bn of pretax profit over the three year period ending April 30, 2018. easyJet (EZJ), up 1.64% to 1149.5p, said it carried 72.8m passengers in the year to August, up 6.8%, on a 12-month rolling basis. Load factor of 91.8% was up from 91.4%. Other stocks advancing included some miners, more house builders and several supermarkets. Anglo American (AAL) added 2.6% to 835.15p, while Persimmon (PSN) rose 1.61% to 1867.5p. Tesco (TSCO) rose 0.93% to 171.08p. To noon, FTSE 100 was down 19.75 points, or 0.29%, to 6859.67. FTSE 250 was up 7.73, or 0.04%, to 18,033.7. Wall St and Asia rose overnight. At 11.39am, WTI crude was up 1.04% to $44.9/bbl and Brent was up 0.33% to $47.3/bbl. Gold was ahead 0.75% to $1336.7/oz. BIGGER MOVERS Mobile Streams (MOS), up 178.13% to 11.13p, said subsidiary Mobile Streams India Private Ltd has exceeded the key milestone of 50,000 active subscribers. EVR Holdings (EVRH), up 26.56% to 2.03p, said subsidiary MelodyVR has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Telefonica Germany GMBH & Co, the largest mobile communication provider in that country. InterQuest (ITQ), down 22.68% to 44.75p, said its H1 revenues fell 9% to £73.8m, with net fee income down 10% to £11.0m and adjusted pretax profits lower 44% to £1.4m. Interim dividend was 0.5p a share, from 1.0p a year ago. ECONOMIC NEWS UK retail sales weakened in August, on the heels of an improvement in July. British Retail Consortium's retail sales monitor showed like-for-like (LFL) sales in the four weeks to Aug. 27 fell 0.9% on the year. In July, LFL sales rose 1.1%. German factory orders rose 0.2% in July, from June's revised fall of 0.3%, Destatis said. A rise of 0.5% was expected by the market. LONDON HIGHLIGHTS Richland Resources (RLD), down 18.75% to 1.62p, has widened its H1 pretax loss to $1.5m, from a loss of $0.98m, as it achieved a number of key operational goals at the Capricorn Sapphire project. Revenue was $0.6m, from $0.3m. Curtis Banks (CBP), down 16.88% to 270.13p, posts an operating profit of £1.6m for the six months to the end of June - up from £1.4m last time - while operating revenues to £10.8m from £7.5m. PowerHouse Energy (PHE), up 18.75% to 0.95p, has completed its system-wide testing programme for the G3-UHt Unit in Brisbane, Australia. It said this was a significant milestone for the company. Sports Direct (SPD), up 5.6% to 350.9p, has received the Working Practices Report from RPC, one of its legal advisers, and promptly requested another to lead a further comprehensive review of working practices. Ceres Power Holdings (CWR), up 8.65% to 10.05p, is to begin trials of its prototype home power systems in the UK later this year. Kodal Minerals (KOD), up 8.82% to 0.19p, has increased its exposure to the high-demand lithium market via an deal to explore and acquire a concession in southern Mali that is prospective for lithium mineralisation. Redrow (RDW), up 7.06% to 411.45p, has hiked its FY pretax profit by 23% to £250m, from £204m. Revenue was £1.38bn, from £1.15bn. FY dividend was 10p a share, from 6p. Redx (REDX), up 3.92% to 26.5p, has entered into an agreement with Quay Pharma to manufacture the clinical trial supplies for Redx's Porcupine inhibitor (RXC004), which has the potential to tackle hard-to-treat cancers. MartinCo (MCO), up 4.33% to 144.5p, has acquired EweMove Sales and Lettings Ltd, a "hybrid" estate agency franchisor, for a total consideration of up to £15m. Vast Resources (VAST), up 1.92% to 0.27p, has signed a long-term off-take agreement with Transamine Trading SA, the Geneva-based global trader of non-ferrous metals, for all concentrates produced at Vast's Manaila Polymetallic Mine (MPM) in Romania. Other stocks in the news included Ashmore (ASHM), Creston (CRE), DS Smith (SMDS), Vernalis (VER), Craneware (CRW), Horizon Discovery (HZD), SQS Software (SQS), Stadium Group (SDM), Kainos (KNOS), Tasty (TAST) and C4X Discovery (C4XD).
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