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Market Wrap - Close

FTSE ends down on retail, leisure as Wall St eases

18 December 2015 17:10

FTSE indices ended as they began -- down. This as Wall St and Europe were moderately lower. In London it was a mixture of falling retail, leisure-related and property stocks that decided direction, outmuscling rising resources.

FTSE 100 ended down 46.16 points, or 0.76%, to 6056.38. FTSE 250 was down 86.71, or 0.5%, to 17,090.6. At 4.42pm, crude prices were up about 1% but were still below USD38/bbl. Gold, silver and copper were up strongly, but other industrial metals were mostly softer.

BG (BG.), down 4% to 908p, on a price monitoring extension, has won approval for a natural gas liquefaction and export facility at its Lake Charles project. Retail traced Dixons Carphone (DC.), off 2.2% to 477.25p. Next (NXT) fell 1.8% to 7275p. Sports Direct (SPD) fell 1.13% to 570p on plans to review agency worker terms and conditions in 2016.

Leisure-linked stocks were in focus. IHG (IHG) eased 1.98% to 2523p, while easyJet (EZJ) lost 1.69% to 1686p and IAG (IAG) faded 1.67% to 588.5p. However, cruise shipping giant Carnival (CCL), up 2.64% to 3648p, has doubled its Q4 results and ended the year with 40% higher earnings.

In property Barratt Developments (BDEV), down 1.79% to 604p, led residential, while Hammerson (HMSO), off 1.49% to 594.5p, guided commercial. Also figuring were Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and Land Securities (LAND).

Southbound stocks included a palette of insurers, pharmas, tobacco and consumer goods outfits, but the roughly 19 rising blue chips were governed by resources. Anglo American (AAL), up 5.71% to 278.6p, directed its sector, while BHP Billiton (BLT), up 2.41% to 716.9p guided its. Other risers in these sectors included Randgold (RRS) and Shell (RDSA).

BIGGER MOVERS

Electric Word (ELE) jumped 25% to 3.75p as it conditionally agreed to sell its indirect 70% shareholding in iGaming Business to Clarion Events. Impact Holdings (IHUK), down 29.33% to 73.5p, has posted an H1 after-tax loss of GBP248,582, from GBP234,933 a year ago. Revenues fell to GBP86,288 from GBP906,376.

ZincOx Resources (ZOX), up 34.78% to 0.78p, confirms talks with potential investors are continuing, with the aim to secure at least USD5m of funding by end-2015. There was, no certainty that these discussions will lead to a successful outcome.

Hardide (HDD) leaped 23.4% to 1.45p as it bagged a major order worth more than GBP0.3m to supply crucial coated components for a new type of airport high-speed X-ray baggage screening machine. Lonmin's (LMI) staggering 8275.71% rise to 58.63p was due a share consolidation.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Stateside, Markit's US flash services PMI business activity index registered 53.7 in December, from 56.1 in November. It was the lowest reading for 12 months. In Europe, the euro zone's current account surplus eased to a seasonally adjusted 20.4bn euros in October, from a surplus of 30.1bn euros in September.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

All Leisure (ALLG) sank 17.39% to 4.75p has warned on challenging trading conditions and the escalating conflict in the Middle East, along with recent acts of terrorism. It sees FY pretax profit broadly neutral, from earlier views for a small loss.

Volvere (VLE), up 14.77% to 427.5p, has disposed of JMP Consultants Ltd to Systra Ltd. Consideration was GBP8m cash, subject to an adjustment based on the level of working capital and net debt as at the close of business yesterday.

MediaZest (MDZ) rose 14.29% to 0.16p on confirming 'material' additional contracts and said it has completed several projects since October. 1PM (OPM), up 8.46% to 70.5p, said H1 trading results will show further growth in revenue and profits, both on the year, ahead of views.

WH Ireland (WHI), down 10.95% to 89.5p, said despite a significant repositioning of the business during the past year it expects to report an increase in operating profit for the year when compared with that reported in 2014.

Ironveld (IRON), up 7.69% to 5.25p, has been informed by Hacra Mining and Exploration (Pty) Ltd that the mining right for magnetite on the Harriets Wish, Cracouw and Aurora farms has been executed and the associated environmental management programme has been approved by the Department of Mineral Resources.

United Carpets (UCG) added 4.26% to 12.25p on better-than-expected interims, with flooring and bed like-for-like sales in positive territory, plus a confident current trading statement. Lifeline Scientific (LSIC), up 4.17% to 187.5p, has won a stocking order from its principal distributor in China worth about USD3.3m.

Progressive Digital Media (PRO), up 4.9% to 267.5p, is in advanced talks concerning the possible acquisition of healthcare business information provider GlobalData Holding Ltd, a private company owned by Mike Danson and Wayne Lloyd.

Other stocks in the news included Laird (LRD), Botswana Diamonds (BOD), John Lewis of Hungerford (JLH), Cyprotex (CRX), Scancell (SCLP), Volga Gas (VGAS), Infrastrata (INFA), Scisys (SCI), Aggreko (AGK), M&C Saatchi (SAA), PureTech Health (PRTC), Fastnet Equity (FAST), TP Group (TPG), Applied Graphene Materials (AGM), Oilex (OEX), Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW), Midatech Pharma (MTPH), PureCircle (PURE) and Impact Holdings (IHUK). Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: BG.

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