Weak overnight trading in Asia takes its toll on a number of stocks in early deals in London, sending the FTSE 100 index 54 points lower to 6,042.
Stocks in Shanghai fell 2.9%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.3% and Japan's Nikkei shed 1.0% after a meeting of the world's 20 largest economies in China over the weekend flagged a series of risks to global economic growth.
Emerging markets-focused asset manager Jupiter (JUP) is among the bigger losers in the FTSE All-Share, down 5.2% at 384p. Jupiter's slide is accompanied by a number of Asia-Pacific-focused investment trusts including Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) down 2.7% to 397p.
Bradford-based grocer Wm Morrison Supermarkets (MRW) surges 5.4% higher to 198.1p after announcing a surprise wholesale supply agreement with e-commerce titan Amazon (AMZN:NDQ). Over the coming months, hundreds of Morrisons products will be available to Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Pantry customers.
Meanwhile, Morrisons has agreed 'in principle' to take space in Ocado's (OCDO) new Customer Fulfilment Centre, currently under construction in Erith, and to collaborate with Ocado to develop a store-picked model.
Shares in Ocado fall 5.7% to 265.8p, partner Morrisons having opened the door to a competitor and a long-rumoured bid from Amazon now seeming highly unlikely.
British Polythene Industries (BPI) gains 6.7% to 688p after reporting a 7% rise in operating profit in 2015 despite the extremely turbulent polymer prices seen in the first half and adverse currency movements. The flexible film specialist has upped its total dividend by 12.5% to 18p.
Amara Mining (AMA:AIM) jumps 25.7% to 12.88p on news that it will merge with gold producer Perseus Mining. Investors should note that there is no guarantee the enlarged company will maintain its AIM listing given that Perseus – which looks like it has the upper hand in the merger – already has stock market listings in Australia and Canada.
Media group Tangent Communications (TNG:AIM) jumps 15.8% to 2.75p as independent directors say they will now recommend a 3p per share takeover offer from media investor Writtle instead of a previous lower offer from Tangent’s management team.
Protein and peptide developer for the life sciences industry Proteome Sciences (PRM:AIM) advances 5.7% to 16.3p on expectations of higher revenue in 2016 thanks to a strong order book and growing pipeline for its services.
Specialist insurer Hiscox (HSX) slips 1.6% to £10.43 on 2015’s pre-tax profit 7% lower than those recorded 12 months earlier to £216.1 million. This came despite a 10% rise in premiums and higher reserve releases. The issue is falling investment returns. The offer of a 16p a share special dividend was less than half the 45p a share the company returned alongside of the ordinary dividend in 2014.
Logistics outfit DX (DX) plunges 14.7% to 20.3p after posting a £87.1 million half-year loss.