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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE mixed as top-100 ladder slips on miners

20 December 2016 08:51

London stocks were mixed in early deals with the top-100 ladder contracting as a string of big-ticket metals burrowers accelerated lower, with an ensemble supporting cast of falling pharmas and utilities.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 7.21 points, or 0.1%, to 7009.95, while FTSE 250 rose 47.43, or 0.27% to 17,829.8. At 8.36am, WTI crude was down 0.31% to $51.96/bbl and Brent was down 0.04% to $54.90/bbl.

Gold was down 0.72% to $1134.5/oz, with silver and copper also lower. Three-month industrial metals were lower, with zinc and copper heavily down.

Yellow-metal sensitive miners Fresnillo (FRES), lower 2.24% to 1089p, and Randgold (RRS), off 1.97% to 5592.5p, led the FTSE 100 down. Further back were sector pals Glencore (GLEN), down 0.78% to 266.3p, BHP Billiton (BLT), lower 0.72% to 1272.75p and others.

Pharmas fell after Hikma (HIK), down 1.5% to 1833p, while several utilities tapered behind Severn Trent (SVT), down 0.36% to 2206p. Also lower were oil majors, a number of leisure outfits, beverage specialists and tobacco stocks.

Blue-chip risers and fallers were roughly evenly split. On the positive side of the ledger it was property in focus. Barratt Developments (BDEV), ahead 1.85% to 469.75p, led house builders, while Land Securities (LAND), up 0.63% to 1038.5p, helped guid commercial property.

Banks and financials also figured higher. Lloyds Banking (LLOY), up 0.78% to 63.04p, has agreed to acquire MBNA, a UK consumer credit card business, from FIA Jersey Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America.

Old Mutual (OML), flat at 197.1p, said OM Asset Management has announced the closing of an underwritten public offering of 14.95m of its shares, including 1.95m shares sold pursuant to the full exercise of the underwriters' previously granted option.

Meantime, London Stock Exchange (LSE), down 0.23% to 2782.5p, has confirmed it and LCH Group a have entered into exclusive talks with Euronext over the sale of LCH's French-regulated operating subsidiary.


1Spatial (SPA), down 31.82% to 1.88p, now expects to deliver a marginal Adjusted EBITDA loss for the full year ending 31 January 2017. It anticipates ending the FY comfortably within its current banking facilities.

Spitfire Oil Ltd (SRO) fell 24% to 2.38p as it, and its wholly owned subsidiary Spitfire Oil Pty Ltd, recorded a FY pretax loss of A$623,614, from A$596,094. The auditors said they have been unable to obtain sufficient evidence to support the directors' assessment that the recoverable amount of the mineral resources asset is at least equal to its carrying value.

Avanti Communications (AVN) rose 20.24% to 25.25p as it completed its strategic review, which included termination of the formal sale process and end of the offer period. It launched a proposed refinancing that will fully fund it via the creation of $242m of additional liquidity.


IXICO (IXI), down 20% to 30p, reports an operating loss of f£2.9 million for the year to the end of September, up from £1.4m last time. Vast Resources (VAST), up 9.38% to 0.18p, has swung to an H1 pretax profit from continuing operations of $265,000, from a year-earlier loss of $3.6m.

Trading Emissions (TRE), up 17.22% to 4.63p, announces a distribution of capital to shareholders of 2.5p a share, equivalent to about £6.25m. The distribution will be paid on 13 January 2017.

Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI), up 5.88% to 16p, announces the conditional acquisition of Astles Control Systems Ltd for initial consideration of £3.446m and an equity fundraising of £3.1m gross.

Edenville Energy (EDL), down 2.6% to 0.38p, has announce the third, and final, set of results it has received from SGS Laboratories in relation to the recent bulk sampling programme carried out on the Mkomolo and Namwele deposits.

MX Oil (MXO), up 2.33% to 1.1p, has signed a non-binding MoU with the Government of Grenada with regard to making an investment in the exploration and development of hydrocarbons in a subterranean area adjoining the maritime boundary with Trinidad and Tobago.

Vislink (VLK), down 1.89% to 13p, said it continues to trade in line with directors' expectations for the FY, with Q4 expected to mirror the usual trading seasonality uplift.

Silence Therapeutics (SLN), up 1.3% to 107.88p, has reached a settlement in the arbitration process with Quark Pharmaceuticals.

Mariana Resources (MARL), down 1.12% to 66p, has provided an update on the ongoing diamond drill programme at the high-grade Hot Maden gold-copper project in northeast Turkey.

Other stocks in the news included Rare Earth Minerals (REM), Amerisur Resources (AMER), Aurora Investment Trust (ARR), Electronic Data Processing (EDP), Flybe (FLYB), Trinity Exploration & Production (TRIN), Applied Graphene Materials (AGM), Hibernia REIT (HBRN), Berkeley Energia (BKY) and Faroe Petroleum (FPM).

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