London stocks got off to a mixed start in the wake of a lower Wall St overnight as US presidential hopefuls Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump met in open debate. Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 17.92 points, or 0.26%, to 6835.96, with the FTSE 250 down 29.71, or 0.26%, points to 17,693.09. Carnival (CCL) guided the blue chips up with a 2.42% surge to 3641p, and was chased by Ashtead (AHT), up 1.83% to 1223p, and then Fresnillo (FRES), ahead 1.51% to 1817p. Tui AG (TUI), rising 1.5% to 1086p, and HSBC (HSBA), up 1.46% to 577.5p, followed. To the downside, Wolseley (WOS) shed 3.42% to 4153p, with Travis Perkins (TPK) down 1.12% to 1501p. These fallers were chased up by Antofagasta (ANTO), down 0.79% to 503p, EasyJet (EZJ), lower 0.79% to 1008p, and Smiths Group (SMIN), off 0.78% to 1392p. At 8.34am, WTI crude was down 0.46% to $45.72/bbl and Brent was down 0.76% to $46.99/bbl. Gold was down 0.32% to $1339.8/oz. Meantime, Mediclinic (MDC) was down 1.34% to 935.25p as it said trading is in line with management's expectations. United Utilities (UU.) shed 0.55% to 995.5p as it said its underlying operating profit for H1 of 2016/17 is expected to be marginally higher than in H1 2015/16, but warned group revenue was seen slightly lower over the same period. Legal & General Group (LGEN), down 2.37% to 218.7p, says its retirement division ia on track to double its new business sales in 2016, with sales now at £5.4bn, from £2.9bn a year earlier. BIGGER MOVERS Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA) rose 34.34% to 0.67p has posted an H1 pretax loss of £43,795, from a year-ago loss of £84,739. It is in advanced talks with potential parties on both its Guinean interests, both carried at nil value, and on a potential new acquisition in the mining industry. Immedia (IME), up 35.48% to 42p, has signed a significant, three-year contract with a major UK retailer. Alternative Networks (AN.), down 13.58% to 280p, expects adjusted EBITDA for the year ending 30 September to be somewhat below management's previous expectations. ECR Minerals (ECR), up 10% to 0.01p, has repaid all amounts owed by the company under the convertible loan facility with YA II PN Ltd. Redx (REDX), up 11.01% to 60.5p, has announced the discovery of a series of compounds that have the potential to create the first novel class of broad-spectrum antibiotics in 30 years. LONDON HIGHLIGHTS Union Jack Oil (UJO), up 8.57% to 0.19p, has agreed with Europa Oil & Gas Ltd to acquire a further 3.34% interest in PEDL180 and PEDL182. Chaarat Gold Holdings (CGH), down 6.96% to 5.75p, has raised about £4.1m via the issue of 78.8m new shares at 5.25p each. Ilika (IKA), down 5.66% to 50p, has announced a conditional placing of 12.6m new shares at a discounted 50p each. The placing will raise gross funds of £6.3m. Next 15 (NFC), up 5.48% to 356p, has acquired the entire issued share capital of PMC Investments Ltd for an initial consideration of about £4.4m. It also lifted its H1 pretax profit to £10.6m, from £7.2m. Interim dividend was 1.5p a share, from 1.2p. XLMedia (XLM), up 4% to 91p, has improved its H1 pretax profit to $15.8m, from a profit of $13.2m, with revenues surging ahead to $51.2m, from $36.8m. NetScientific (NSCI), down 3.61% to 80p, has widened its H1 pretax loss to £6.1m, from a year-earlier restated loss of £4.4m. Revenue was £359,243, from £55,000. Thomas Cook Group (TCG), down 3.04% to 70.78p, said in a trading update that, overall, group bookings remain in line with its expectations. TLA Worldwide (TLA), down 2.41% to 40.5p, has deepened its H1 pretax loss to $4.0m, from a year-ago loss of $1.4m. Proposed interim dividend was 0.23p a share, from 0.2p. It said its outlook for H2 and beyond was positive. Noricum Gold (NMG), down 1.96% to 0.13p, has posted an H1 pretax loss of £497,980, from a year-ago loss of £271,422. Most of the losses were attributable to administrative expenses. Other stocks in the news included Circassia (CIR), AG Barr (BAG), Card Factory (CARD), Close Brothers (CBG), Sirius Real Estate (SRE), Avingtrans (AVG), easyHotel (EZH), Pennant Int'l (PEN), ClearStar (CLST), Earthport (EPO), Mercia Tech. (MERC), Acacia (ACA) and Netcall (NET).
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