Blue chip stocks open lower in early deals in London, down 0.4% at 6,336, as George Soros warns Britain’s decision to leave the EU could create a financial crisis comparable to 2008.

In a speech to the European Parliament, Soros said financial problems unfolding ‘in slow motion’ would be accelerated as a result of the vote, reinforcing deflationary trends around the world.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is the biggest FTSE 100 loser, down 5.0% to 171p, as banks and housebuilders again weigh on the market.

Moving the other way among the blue chips, private equity investor 3i (III) gains 5.6% to 534p after its European gym chain Action, the company's largest portfolio investment, receives a valuation boost.

Based on bids received for Action by a number of third parties, 3i says the business is now worth £1,464 million versus a £902 million estimate on 31 March, at the time of 3i's full year results.

ASOS gains

Global online fashion store ASOS (ASC:AIM) adds 2.2% (82p) at £38.50 following yesterday's well-attended capital markets event for City scribes and investors.

Logistics operator Stobart (STOB) gains 11.7% to 153p as its board proposes to double dividend payouts and move to a quarterly distribution policy.

According to an AGM statement, dividends are expected to hit 3p a quarter in the year ahead, an annualised 12p a year, up from 6p a share in the last financial year. Underlying earnings per share in the year to 29 February 2016 was 5p.

Energy services outfit John Wood (WG.) flags a marginal improvement in conditions in upstream oil and gas contract awards in a trading update for the six months to 30 June 2016.

‘We are encouraged by the recent upstream awards and feel well positioned for future activity’, management says in a statement. Guidance of a 20% reduction in earnings for the full year is maintained.

Shares in Wood Group are up 0.75% to 675.5p.

Oil explorer Tullow Oil (TLW) is up 2.8% to 260p as it confirms its TEN project offshore Ghana is on schedule to come on stream in the next three to six weeks.

Minnow oil producer Nighthawk Energy (HAWK:AIM) soars 51.5% to 1.17p as it secures a refinancing deal with its lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The new $23 million loan will carry an interest rate of LIBOR plus 6% which will be payable monthly in cash with new covenants which are ‘more reflective of the current market’.

Chinese wooden home furnishings and doors maker Jiasen (JSI:AIM) slumps the best part of 30% to 2.75p on dire annual numbers showing sales and profits down materially due to the property market slump in China.

Jiasen, whose profits were also impacted by an RMB52.3 million (£5.8 million) bad debt provision, issues a bleak outlook and also shelves the dividend 'in light of the difficult trading environment'.

India-focused fashion site Koovs (KOOV:AIM) cheapens 0.5p to 53.5p, despite announcing the closing of a current round of funding which has brought in £26.2 million and been backed by respected Indian media group HT Media.

For more on the Koovs growth story, read our news article from April here.

Biotech bounce

A 96% success rate recorded by Akers Bioscience's (AKR:AIM) Chlamydia test in clinical trials sends the diagnostic developer 11.7% higher to 190p.

The test will be the first to identify the disease from a finger prick blood sample in five minutes compared to a 10-day wait using existing methods.

Analysts expect a sales approval decision from the US regulator in the first half of 2017.

Clinical-phase drug company Mereo Biopharma (MPH:AIM) improves 3.2% to 301.5p as the European Commission grants its brittle bone disease treatment orphan drug status.

This means the regulator will speed up its decision on approving the drug for sale, while it could benefit from higher pricing and extended exclusivity. Third stage clinical trials are expected to start later this year.

Contract researcher Venn Life Sciences (VENN:AIM) rises 7.1% to 26.2p on news it expects to report a maiden pre-tax profit this year. Revenues are expected to total €16 million compared to €11.4 million in 2015.

Issue Date: 30 Jun 2016