London stocks start the week in the red, marginally reversing gains on Friday, after the European Central Bank hinted at further stimulus in December and China cut rates. That tips the benchmark FTSE 100 index around 12 points lower, or 0.2%, to 6,431 with midcaps posting similar declines. The FTSE Small Cap index remains largely flat.
On the company front, advertising giant WPP (WPP) slumps despite reporting a healthy rise in revenue for the third quarter and saying it expects an even better fourth quarter. Investors are likely feeling concerned about worldwide softening in the GDP growth rate, the shares drifting close on 2% to £14.54.
Going the other way, and heading the Footsie leader board, is Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN), up 4% to 366p on a Financial Times report that it is sounding out potential buyers for the company. Emerging markets-focused Aberdeen has been hit as the region's growth started to stagnate and financial assets tumbled, reducing its ability to earn investment management fees.
AstraZeneca (AZN) stays largely flat despite the US Food and Drug Administration's Arthritis Advisory Committee recommending the approval of lesinurad tablets for the treatment of hyperuricemia with gout.
Among the bigger movers, EKF Diagnostics (EKF:AIM) slumps nearly 12% to 19p as it notes that Jinjing does not intend to make an offer for the company and now plans to go forward with Ron Zwanziger taking over as chairman, according to a statement issued after Friday's market close.
A strong set of final results from crop enhancement specialist Plant Impact (PIM:AIM) shows the £48 million cap closing in on profitability as turnover, gross profit and gross margin all showed substantial improvement in the year to the end of July. Shares in the Harpenden-headquartered group are up 7.4% at 58p.
CloudTag (CTAG:AIM), up 12% to 2.38p, is delighted with the latest results from its independent user tests, carried out and verified in collaboration with the Human Performance Unit at the Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, University of Essex.
In the resources space, Trinity Exploration (TRIN:AIM) drops 8% to 8.83p as CEO Joel Pemberton hands in his notice. He plans to leave the company on 31 December. His resignation comes after the pending divestment of most of TRIN's onshore assets.
But Capital Drilling (CAPD:AIM) is in positive territory, up 3% to 24.5p, as it confirms trading remains in line with market views for the full year. It has achieved consistent quarter-on-quarter revenue growth throughout 2015 financial year, with third quarter income of $20.8 million.
Veterinary services provider CVS (CVSG:AIM) clips ahead 4p to 672.5p on another financially and strategically attractive acquisition. The £11.5 million takeover of small animal vet surgeries business Highcroft Pet Care brings CVS its first significant presence in the Bristol area.