London’s blue chip index is trading 21.00 points lower early on Monday at 6,354 on negative updates from commodity and emerging market-focused members of the FTSE 100.
FTSE 100 miner BHP Billiton (BLT) falls 3.9% to 776.3p after Brazilian government authorities said they would start legal proceedings against the miner and joint venture partner Vale following a devastating tailings dam breach at the Samarco iron ore mine on 5 November. The authorities have indicated they want a $5.2 billion fund set up by the two miners for compensation and environmental clean-up.
Sausage, bacon and poultry products supplier Cranswick (CWK) is in sizzling form, the shares up 3.1% to £17.53 as strong interims and confident commentary ahead of the key Christmas trading period drive full-year profit upgrades.
Branded fashion business French Connection (FCCN) rebounds 9.5% to 33.25p as chairman and CEO Stephen Marks reports significantly improved third quarter trading in the retailer's UK and European stores.
Medical testing kit-maker EKF Diagnostics (EKF:AIM) rises 12.2% to 11.5p on two non-executive directors quitting. A profit warning was issued on 26 November and streamlining the management team is part of new chairman and US diagnostic veteran Ron Zwanziger’s plans for reversing the company’s fortunes.
The news flow at emerging markets asset manager Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) continues to be unrelentingly negative as full year results see shares slide 4.4% to 320p. Despite decent financial performance, with earnings per share down around 5% to 22.3p, the market is focusing on declining assets under management which augurs badly for earnings next year.
Liberia-based gold producer Aureus Mining (AUE:AIM) dives 37.1% to 8.25p after raising a slug of new cash at a significant discount to last week’s closing price. It is raising $11.5 million by issuing new shares at 5p, as well getting an additional $10 million debt facility. The miner needs the cash to strengthen its balance sheet and buy more equipment to speed up operations.
Wood acetylation specialist Accsys Technologies (AXS:AIM) is 1% higher at 69.1p after the £61.4 million cap posts a 21% increase in revenue with an underlying operating profit of €1.3 million; the group's first positive EBITDA since restructuring in 2010.