London stocks got off to a positive start after the US Federal Reserve last night stayed interest rates but hinted at a possible raising by year's end, which helped Wall St and Asia higher overnight. Mining and real estate outfits were firmer on the FTSE. Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 34.18 points, or 0.5%, to 6868.95. FTSE 250 was up 85.75, or 0.48%, to 18,019.6. Some ballast was provided by ex-dividend stocks. At 8.31am, WTI crude was up 1.04% to $45.81/bbl and Brent was up 0.94% to $47.27/bbl. Gold rose 0.44% to $1337.3/oz. BHP Billiton (BLT) guided blue chip miners with a rise of 3.31% to 1085.75p, while Fresnillo (FRES) added 2.95% to 1763.5p and Randgold (RRS) firmed 2.93% to 7905p. More metals burrowers followed. Oilies such as BP (BP.), ahead 1.43% to 430.35p, were further back. House builders were guided north by Persimmon (PSN), up 1.94% to 1815.5p, while commercial property advanced after British Land (BLND), ahead 1.63% to 637.25p. US rates-sensitive utilities also stacked on gains, as did a slew of retailers, insurers and supermarkets. To the downside high-street lenders were prominent. HSBC (HSBA) guided with a slide of 2.01% to 576.85p, while Lloyds Banking (LLOY) flopped 0.54% to 56.79p. More followed. Overall, risers outnumbered fallers 83 to 17, with about 38 blue chips advancing 1% or more. In the news, Micro Focus International (MCRO), up 1.25% to 2146.5p, said trading in the current financial year to date has been consistent with previous management guidance. Rolls-Royce (RR.), down 1% to 718.75p, has appointed Stephen Daintith as CFO. BIGGER MOVERS Management Consulting Group (MMC), up 42.65% to 24.25p, has agreed with Accenture for the sale of Kurt Salmon in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, China, Hong Kong and Japan for about $165m cash. It also widened its H1 pretax loss to £2.2m, from a loss of £1.1m. Aura Energy (AURA), up 22.86% to 2.15p, has noted the exceptionally strong gold exploration results achieved by Algold Resources at its Tijirit gold exploration prospect in Mauritania. Xtract Resources (XTR), down 25% to 0.03p, said that, following a review of the Chepica Gold/Copper Mine in Chile, it has determined the underlying fundamentals and the risk associated with the project are no longer supportive of continuing investment by the company. Fishing Republic (FISH), down 17.28% to 33.5p, has swung into the black in H1 with a pretax profit of £157,000, from a loss of £150,000. Miton Group (MGR), up 11.32% to 29.5p, has booked an adjusted H1 pretax profit of £3.1m, up from £0.8m. LONDON HIGHLIGHTS Proxama (PROX), up 10% to 1.38p, said GLACEAU smartwater, owned by Coca Cola, is the latest brand to utilise their proximity products and services. Lamprell (LAM), up 9.38% to 61.25p, has reported a resilient underlying performance for H1 in a challenging market. Distil (DIS), up 9.8% to 1.4p, has announced that another leading supermarket group has listed RedLeg Spiced Rum and Blackwoods Vintage Dry Gin for its stores throughout the UK and online. DJI Holdings (DJI), down 7.31% to 153.63p, is to seek shareholder approval for a rebranding and change of name to BNN Technology. Seeing Machines (SEE), up 6.9% to 3.88p, confirms the introduction of its first generation FOVIO embedded hardware chip, a world first in Driver Monitoring Systems. W Resources (WRES), up 6.45% to 0.5p, said tungsten concentrate production has successfully commenced at the La Parrilla mine in Spain ahead of schedule. Scisys (SSY), up 5.29% to 89.5p, has swung to an H1 pretax profit of £973,000, from a year-ago loss of £1.2m. It reinstated an interim dividend at 0.53p a share. WYG (WYG), up 5.58% to 123p, reports continued momentum in the growth of the business, with profit before tax and revenues for the half year ending 30th September 2016 expected to be significantly ahead of the comparative period. Savannah Resources (SAV), up 3.13% to 4.13p, said that two mining licence applications have been submitted to the Public Authority of Mining (PAM) in the Sultanate of Oman as part of the licencing requirements for new mine developments in Oman. Kier (KIE), up 3.09% to 1319.5p, has unveiled FY results in line with expectations with revenue of £4.2bn, up 26%, and like-for-like revenue up 8%. Underlying profit from operations rose by 44% to £150m. Mitchells & Butlers (MAB), up 2.43% to 271.55p, said like-for-like sales increased by 1.8% in the most recent 8 weeks. However, in the 51 weeks to Sept. 17, Mitchells & Butlers total like-for-like sales were down 0.8%. Other stocks in the news included Union Jack Oil (UJO), Begbies Traynor (BEG), Hurricane Energy (HUR), First Property (FPO), Watkin Jones (WJG), LondonMetric Property (LMP), KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG), Science in Sport (SIS), hVIVO (HVO), M&C Saatchi (SAA) and Clontarf (CLON).
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