London shares nudge lower in early trade on Monday, surrendering some of Friday's solid gains, in the wake of a mixed session on Wall Street and in Asia overnight. Europe was lower, too. Miners, financials and pharmas were the primary blue-chip ballast. The FTSE 100 index limps around 24 points to 6,087, a 0.34% decline, a lead followed by mid and smaqll cap indexes, albeit the FTSE 250 and FTSE Small Cap posting smaller falls of 0.15% and 0.1% respectively, to 16,774 and 4,509.
In corporate news, there is no stopping the descent in FTSE 100 commodities trader Glencore (GLEN), which again heads the Footsie loser board. It falls another 8% to 89.5p after selling a large nickel prospect in Brazil for a fraction of the money invested in the project. Small cap Horizonte Minerals (HZM:AIM) is paying just $8 million for the project which is adjactent to its own nickel asset of the same name, Araguaia. Horizonte rises 3.2% to 1.6p.
Mobile giant Vodafone (VOD) is also a hefty faller, off 3.8% to 209.4p, as talks with John Malone's US media and communications group Liberty Global (LBTYA) come to nothing. Stiff regulatory hurdles always made any transatlantic tie-up between the pair unlikely.
Leading the blue-chip charge up is brewer SAB Miller (SAB). The shares gain 3.9% to £37.28 as the market responds to talk of a $106 billion (£69 billion) takeover offer from AB Inbev (ABI:EBR). SAB first confirmed it was in talks with Belgium-listed AB on September 15.
Among the bigger overs, mobile minnow eServGlobal (ESG:AIM) crashes 24% to 8.75p with a €10 million capital reorganisation looking likely at its HomeSend arm. This could dilute the company's stake in the global remittances platform in which Vodafone is a partner, although eServGlobal will be offered the chance to subscribe to new stock to maintain its 35% holding.
Software supplier and trainer Pennant International (PEN:AIM) shocks the market by posting a fairly hefty £0.76 million pre-tax loss in the first half to 30 June, down from last year's £1.2 million profit. But its not all bad news the firm's training systems arm unveiling a £7 million-plus contract with a major global aerospace and defence contractor. But the shares still fall heavily, knocking roughly 20% off the share price to 62p.
One-time retail investor favourite Tanfield (TAN:AIM) slumps 14% to 15.75p after being told that partner Smith Electric Vehicles is having to raise emergency $10 million funding. If Smith fails to raise $4.5 million minimum it could be forced to seek protection under US bankruptcy laws or close operations.
Better news comes from Aquatic Foods (AFG:AIM), up 13% to 34p, the company inking a one-year sales contract with Yihe International. The contract is seen benefiting the fourth qurater of this year and 2016, with the subsequent prospect of repeat business.
UK Tool hire market leader Speedy Hire (SDY) heads the list of losers on the FTSE All-Share, tumbling 13% to 32.3p. Sales are 10% lower than a year earlier, executive chairman Jan Astrand says – Speedy’s second profit warning in three months.
In the small resources space, Amedeo Resources (AMED:AIM) plunges more than 13% to 22p as it posts half-year losses of $0.85 million. While this is a modest improvement on losses of $0.96 million a year ago, the market is in no mood to support many cash-consuming minnows.
Chinese electric scooter manufacturer Vmoto (VMT:AIM) surges 17% to 15.5p on news it has won a customer supply agreement with a Canadian-based telematics provider called Saturna Green Systems. Saturna has agreed to buy a minimum of 32,000 E-Max electric scooters over five years. It will fit them with its telematics software to produce 'smart' scooters.
Elsewhere, Barclays (BARC) falls 1.2% to 251.8p on reports that management is considering selling part of its business in Brazil.
Cancer diagnostic developer Angle (AGL:AIM) climbs 3.7% to 83.5p after research by the Medical University of Vienna points to Angle’s Parsortix system potentially improving ovarian cancer detection rates than using existing techniques.
Gaming software group GameAccount Network (GAME:AIM) slides 4.5% to 52.5p after widening its pre-tax loss to £2.6 million in the six months to 30 June from £0.9 million a year earlier due to the lack of a system sale in the first half. Net revenue is down by 31% to £2.9 million, but simulated gaming (where no real money is gambled) has grown six-fold to £1.2 million.