London stocks were southbound to midday, as data showed UK inflation expectations rose in August and that the country's goods-trade balance for July was worse than expected. To noon, FTSE 100 was down 20.15 points, or 0.29%, to 6838.55, and FTSE 250 was down 114.01, or 0.63%, to 18,079.1. At 11.43am, WTI crude was down 1.36% to $46.97/bbl, and Brent was down 1.42% to $49.28/bbl. Gold was down 0.19% to $1339/oz. Roughly 74 blue-chip stocks were lower, guided by a 3.53% slump in Ashtead to 1244.5p, and followed by Bunzl (BNZL), lower 3.32% to 2285.5p, and Burberry (BRBY), off 2.92% to 1247.5p. Most sectors figured on the losers' ladder, with house builders and commercial property studded throughout. Intu (INTU) fell 1.92% to 301.1p and Berkeley (BKG) eased 2.07% to 2667.5p. Also southbound were multiple pharmas, oilies, a smattering of high-street retail, consumer goods and several supermarkets. Several insurers traced Old Mutual (OML), lower 1.96% to 195p. To the limited upside, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) added 2.15% to 206.45p, with fellow lender Barclays (BARC) rising 1.39% to 175.6p. More chased. Miners figured on both side of the ledger. Utilities were mixed and airlines nipped higher. IAG (IAG) flew up 1.21% to 427.2p, while easyjet (EZJ) added 1.13% to 1210.5p. Mediclinic (MDC), up 1.56% to 979.5p, said revenue growth in its Abu Dhabi operations for the FY will be lower than previously expected, but that trading conditions are in line with management's expectations for Southern Africa, Switzerland and Dubai. BIGGER MOVERS IPPLUS (IPP), up 31.15% to 20p, is to seek shareholder approval for the sale of IPPlus (UK) and CallScripter for £6.7 million to focus fully on PCI-PAL. Hurricane Energy (HUR), up 45.43% to 35.63p, has completed the testing and logging phase of the 205/21a-7 well. It would permanently abandon the pilot well reservoir section prior to side-tracking the top-hole to form the 7Z horizontal sidetrack. Botswana Diamonds (BOD), down 17.72% to 1.63p, said its 50:50 joint venture with Alrosa, the world's leading diamond producer, will start next stage exploration at the end of September in the Orapa and Gope areas of Botswana. ECONOMICS NEWS UK's goods trade balance for July was a worse than expected -£11.76bn, versus the -£11.65bn anticipated by the market. June's goods trade balance was revised down to -£12.92bn, from -£12.41bn. UK's construction output was flat between June and July, data from Office for National Statistics showed. This was against market expectations for a 0.5% drop. On an annual basis, construction output tapered 1.5%, versus forecasts for a 3.4% slide. UK's inflation expectations rose in August. Bank of England's quarterly inflation attitudes report showed the median expectation among the British public rose to 2.2% in August, from 2.0%. On a 12-month basis, the median expectation was unchanged at 2.2%. LONDON HIGHLIGHTS Minoan (MIN), down 14.49% to 7.38p, said its travel business has been negatively affected by the outcome of the UK's non-binding Brexit vote to quit the EU, weakness in sterling and the decline of tourism in Turkey. Its FY profit would not meet market views, it said. YOLO Leisure and Technology (YOLO), up 4.76% to 1.1p, said TVPlayer Ltd, in which it has an interest, has signed formal licensing multi-year content agreements with ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to simulcast the broadcasters' free to air channels on TVPlayer. Greene King (GNK), down 4.46% to 802.5p, is confident of delivering another year of strategic and financial progress. It was cautious on the impact of Brexit to leisure spend. JD Wetherspoon (JDW), up 4.87% to 969p, has reported record sales, profit and earnings per share before exceptional items for the year to 24 July. Profit before tax and exceptional items rose 3.6% to £80.6m, from £77.8m. Hornby (HRN), up 2.47% to 31.38p, said its current trading has been in line with expectations. "The planned business restructuring is on track and the Board remains focused on returning the group back to a position of sustainable profit and cash generation," it said. Thalassa (THAL), down 1.25% to 39.5p, yesterday acquired 10.44m shares in The Local Shopping REIT (LSR) at a total cost of about £3.6m. As a result, it is now beneficially interested in 12.87m shares, or about 15.6% of LSR. Shares in LSR rose 11.08% to 31.38p. Telit Communications (TCM), down 2.44% to 235.13p, has been provided with a preferred loan of €12.8m and awarded a grant of €3.6m by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MiSE) to further develop an innovative platform for the application of IOT technologies. Other stocks in the news included Victoria (VCP), Randall & Quilter Investment Holding (RQIH), Comptoir (COM), Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH), Vela Technologies (VELA), CORETX (COR), Gameaccount Network (GAN) and Derwent London (DLN).
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