Selling pressure continues to drag on UK stocks in early trade Friday, the FTSE 100 opening at its year low 6,431.85. Ongoing concerns over macro growth is still stalking sentiment and the UK's blue-chip index dives another 65 points this morning to hit 6,367, extending the 2014 nadir still further.
Oil prices sink to four-year lows the oil and gas sector is under significant pressure. Exploration specialist Tullow Oil (TLW) is down 3.1% to 553p as the company also announces an unsuccessful well offshore Gabon.
The sector's Footsie giants, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), BP (BP.) and BG (BG.) all hit the skids, falling between 1% and 32% to £22.85, 430.35p and £10.38 respectively. Yet the biggest oil faller is North Sea-focused AIM explorer Parkmead (PMG:AIM), crashing 9.7% to 149p.
Multi-utility Telecom Plus (TEP) gets back into investor good books as it confirms its confidence in matching full year expectations and demonstrates accelerating customer sign-ups. Consensus, according to Morningstar data, is for pre-tax profit of £63.9 million and earnings of 64.5p per share. The share price of the running Shares Play of the Week jump more than 7% to £13.47, ending nearly two months of stock declines.
Embattled maternity products purveyor Mothercare (MTC) falls 27% to 165.5p but it's not another profits alert. Today's apparent slide is a reaction to 79.9 million plus new shares hitting the market under its £100 million rights issue to help fund its UK turnaround and wider digital transformation.
Investors seem doubtful that bluetooth chip's designer CSR (CSR) will seal a possible merger with US peer Microchip Technology (MCHP:NDQ), the shares tumbling nearly 10% to 645.5p on no new news. Shares in CSR have rallied roughly 25% since the US firm's interest was confirmed in August.
Telco networks and software supplier Gamma Communications (GAMA:AIM) gets off to a flyer as the market bids up the shares from the 187p listing price to 210p at the start of first day's trading today.
Speciality chemicals business Carclo (CAR) plunges 10% to 101.75p as half year trading fails to impress investors. Carclo has started full strategic review of its underperforming CIT Technology business.
Celebration cakes-to-speciality breads maker Finsbury Food (FIF:AIM) softens 0.5p to 61p after announcing the £56 million reverse takeover of Fletchers Bakeries. Cardiff-headquartered Finsbury is funding the deal via an oversubscribed £35 million placing at 59p. The earnings enhancing deal will turn Finsbury into one of the UK's biggest speciality bakers. Finsbury also flags a positive start to the year.
Fund manager Jupiter (JUP) falls 2% to 392p on weaker than expected client flows into its investment funds. Broker Panmure Gordon says the asset manager’s third quarter update indicates it will miss its forecasts for assets under management and profit before tax by around 3%.
Video game specialist Keywords Studios (KWS:AIM) acquires India-based Lakshya Digital, which provides outsourced art services, for £4 million. The deal is being funded by a mixture of existing cash resources and options given to the sellers over Keyword's shares. The stock trades down 2.5p at 140p.