Source - SMW
There was bad news from struggling British department store chain Debenhams (DEB) as it warned of volatile UK trading, which could drag pre-tax profit to the lower end of the company's expectations.

Shares in the company fell 3% to 43.1p as investors were concerned about the grim outlook.

The FTSE was trading 0.1% at 7,440 midday as stronger mining stocks failed to outweigh weakness in utility stocks.

Anglo American (AAL) advanced 3.2% to £10.06 and Rio Tinto (RIO) was 2.7% up to £31.39.

Among the fallers were Severn Trent (SVT), down 1.1% to £22.79 and National Grid (NG.) which also fell 1.1% to 993.9p.

Brent crude oil gained 1.2% to $46.38 per barrel. Gold glittered at $1,251 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.3% to $5,776 per tonne. 


Wall Street was subdued with the tech-heavy Nasdaq index taking the biggest hit, down 0.3% on Monday to 6,247.

The index was dragged lower by weakness in big names Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft.

It was a mixed picture in Asia as Japan's Nikkei rose 0.3% to 20,225 today, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dipped 0.1% to 25,839.


According to reports, supermarket Tesco (TSCO) is set to launch a one-hour grocery deliver service to customers in central London in a bid to increase its competitive edge.

Shares in Tesco were up 1.7% to 169.5p, but its competitors Sainsburys (SBRY) and Morrisons (MRW) failed to rally.


In corporate news, Northgate (NTG) continued to struggle on the stock market after reporting full year pre-tax profit fell from £77.6m to £72.2m. Shares in the investment holding company plummeted by 13% to 463p.

Petrofac (PFC) was optimistic about a spate of project bidding activity as it was likely to boost profits in the first half of its financial year. Shares in the firm dipped 2.4% to 415.7p as investors failed to be won over. The subdued market reaction could be due to previous corruption allegations that have rocked Petrofac of late.


Floor retailer Carpetright (CPR) announced a return to UK like-for-like sales growth, although trading in Europe remained subdued. Investors were relieved that trading was not worse as the stock climbed 6.8% to 192.2p.

Mayan Energy (MYN) raised £587,000 in a discounted share placing and agreed to invest £300,000 into oil and gas firm Block Energy, helping to explain the 42% decline in its share price to 0.2p.

A proposed acquisition of Electric Word (ELE) sparked a 14.8% rally to 3.8p. The training materials provider recommended a 3.93p per share cash offer from Sport Business Acquisitions.

In the mining space, Mkango Resources (MKA) said it aimed to start production of rare earths in Malawi in 2020, but the failed to excite investors as the stock was flat at 2.8p.