London shares hit the skids I early trade on Monday with initial gains quickly eroded. Miners and financials were providing positive direction, more than offsetting convincing falls among a mixed-bag of blue chip stocks. Wall Street was lower overnight Friday, with Asia up today.
The FTSE 100 index slumps 71 points, or 1.2%, to 5,776, with chip designs firm ARM (ARM) heading the Footsie loser board, off 4..5% at 939p ahead of its full year results due on Wednesday 10 February.
Going the other way, FTSE 100 gold producer Randgold Resources (RRS) leads the gainer, up 2.6% to £54.40 after revealing lower-than-expected costs at $679 per ounce. Canaccord Genuity says the company seems to be prioritising profitability over production as 2016 output guidance for one of its mines looks a lot less than previously indicated by Randgold.
The pressure has finally told on long-standing CEO of chips firm Imagination Technologies (IMG) Sir Hossein Yassaie. He buckles under the strain to sell the firm's heavily loss-making digital radio arm Pure, walking out. Director Andrew Heath will lead the company on an interim basis. Imagination, which is expected to post another year of hefty operating losses for the year to April 2016, confirms its intention to sell Pure and put a stop to the red ink as part of a wider restructuring of the business. Shares has flagged a likely Pure sale for months, mostly recently after chairman Bert Nordberg bought shares in the company, but the loss of the respected and experienced Yassaie comes as a blow all the same, sparking a near 2% slide in the shares to 129.5p.
UK tool hire market leader Speedy Hire (SDY) zooms 8.2% higher to 40p as it announces plans to expand into the rail sector via the acquisition of overhead lines specialist OHP Group. Crewe-based OHP delivered revenue of £2.6 million in the 12 months ended 30 November 2015 and has recently secured new contracts in the overhead line equipment (OLE) rental market.
Presently unloved, discounter Poundland (PLND) perks up 4.6% to 151.8p as Deutsche Bank upgrades the stock from 'hold' to 'buy', albeit with a lowered price target of 180p. For more on Poundland's recent trading travails, click here.
Fitness tracker manufacturer Fitbug (FITB:AIM) is down 6% to 0.8p after announcing it has entered into a settlement agreement with US rival Fitbit (FIT:NYSE), who it had accused of infringing its trademark. The microcap says terms of the agreement are confidential but it removes the burden of any ongoing legal costs.
Heart monitor-maker LiDCO (LID:AIM) falls 1.8% to 6.7% on missing revenue expectations in the year to 31 January with some sales expected to slip into the current financial year. The company, which beat expectations by generating £1.6 million cash during the year, boasts of strong UK and US sales pipelines going forward.