The FTSE joins in with a wider decline across European markets as the Eurogroup meets to discuss the Eurozone's other pressing issue aside from Brexit, Greece. That sparks a modest 16 points, or rough 0.25%, decline in the FTSE 100 blue-chips to 6,840. 'Its losses largely seem to come from the commodity sector despite the fact that Brent Crude briefly touched $50 per barrel during yesterday evening,' says analyst Connor Campbell.
Corporate news is typically thin on Friday, although investors are pleased with reported growth from pubs chain JD Wetherspoon (JDW) in its recently-ended financial year, in which the group also flagged continuing sales encouragement since the year-end. The pub chain saw its pre-tax profit in the year ended 24th July rise to £66 million from £58.7 million previously. The shares rally 3.2% to 953.5p.
In the same space, Greene King (GNK) gets on the wrong side of investors as it posts modest 1.7% sales growth in the first 18 weeks of its financial year and flags ongoing Brexit uncertainties. That's not as positive as the market was hoping for, knocking the shares 3.6% lower to 809.5p.
Among bigger movers, the completion of well testing and logging at the 205/21a-7, or 'Pilot Well' sparks a 39% share price hike to 34p for Hurricane Energy (HUR:AIM). Side-tracking work will now begin on site.
A strategic management reshuffle at digital coupons platform Eagle Eye Solutions (EYE:AIM) gets the thumbs-up from investors, the stock jumping more than 6% to 102p. That includes the surprise demotion of CEO Phill Blundell to deputy CEO, with former non-exec chairman Tim Mason taking the top job.
While final results are still to come in investors sell in their droves shares in diamond miner Botswana Diamonds (BOD:AIM) as its latest update comes in. 'The Alrosa/Botswana Diamonds Joint Venture will shortly begin an intensive twelve week exploration programme on our ground in Botswana,' spells out chairman John Teeling. 'Core holes will be drilled on three licences, two on the known kimberlite AK22 in Orapa, two on licence PL 085 also in Orapa and four on licence PL 135 in Gope. Earlier work has pinpointed sites we believe may contain new diamondiferous kimberlites,' he says. The stock dives 23% to 1.52p, valuing the business at barely £5 million.
Engineering and design group Avon Rubber (AVON) rallies more than 7% to 895p as it flags a $9 million contact win on its defence side from a US police department. Full year results for the year ended 30 September 2016 will be announced on 16 November 2016.