Running with the theme of declining mining stocks that dogged the previous session, the FTSE 100 opens on the downside as markets across Europe continue to decline on the back of falling copper and crude prices.
Mining giants BHP Billiton (BHP) and Anglo-American (AAL) lead the fallers on the the FTSE 100, shedding 7% and 6% respectively. Commodity trader Glencore (GLEN) is also among the benchmark's biggest fallers declining 5.9% to 121.7p. Beleaguered Standard Chartered (STAN) is another big faller with declines running over following a disastrous set of results on 23 February.
To the upside, modest advances are being seen in the housebuilding sector where Persimmon (PSN) is leading the risers adding 1.7% to £20.63 after a strong set of full-year results yesterday. Fellow housebuilder Berkeley (BKG) is up 1% at £32.55.
The FTSE 100 is down 1.35% at 5881.65.
It wasn't all bad news however in the mining sector. Scotgold (SGZ:AIM) jumps 31.8% to 0.7p after announcing plans for trial gold production at its Cononish mine in Scotland. If you would like to learn more about the company, we have a limited number of free tickets to an investor event tomorrow night in Edinburgh (25 Feb). Click here to secure your place.
Improving the value of its properties via refurbishments sends landlord Town Centre Securities (TCSC) 7.7% higher to 298.8p after net asset value climbed 4.4% in the six months to 31 December, helping to generate a 13.3% total shareholder return.
Recruiter Hays (HAS) sheds 5.5% to 117p on half-year results which were largely pre-announced to the market in a January trading update. Investors may be focusing on slower than expected dividend progress, which is up 5% as compared to a 10% gain in EPS in the six months to 31 December 2015.
European private label toothpastes-to-toilet cleaners manufacturer McBride (MCB) powers 10% higher to 169.9p as better-than-expected interims drive upgrades to full-year estimates. Positive early progress with CEO Rik De Vos' turnaround strategy is reflected in a half-time profits surge, with operating margins up and net debt down. De Vos now expects full-year results will be 'modestly ahead' of previous expectations.
Consumer lender International Personal Finance (IPF) slips 14.4% 227p as it flags lower profitability next year. Regulatory change in Slovakia and Poland means underlying profit-before-tax is expected to fall further from the £116.1 million in the year to 31 December 2015, down from £123.5 million a year earlier. Underlying earnings per share (EPS), management’s preferred measure of performance was up slightly at 38p because of a share buyback programme.
Investors take profits in infection prevention, contamination control and hygiene products specialist Tristel (TSTL:AIM) after strong first half results sending the shares 15.1% lower to 123.5p. Pre-tax profit were 36% higher year-on-year to £1.5 million.