StockMarketWire | 25/08/2016 - 18:40
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London stocks ended on the back foot. Multiple pharmas, commercial and residential property, banks and retailers were at the southbound vanguard as gold eased and crude staged a minor rally after yesterday's torrid time.

Pharma firm Hikma (HIK) led the blue-chip pack with a 3.5% slide to 2150p, followed by Shire (SHP), which tapered 2.47% to 4901p. Meantime, Hammerson (HMSO) led commercial property with a 2.75% fall to 574.25p. House builders eased behind Taylor Wimpey (TW.), down 2.58% to 164.15p.

More in these sectors followed, as did banks in the wake of RBS (RBS), lower 1.56% to 195.5p, and insurers after Direct Line (DLG), off 1.45% to 366.4p. Leisure was lower, as were airlines and multiple high-street retailers after Dixons Carphone (DC.), down 3.3% to 374.3p.

Ex-dividend factors weighed all day. Roughly 71 blue chips were lower, about 34 of these by 1% or more. To the limited upside, utilities were in focus after National Grid (NG.), ahead 1.08% to 1075p, and United Utilities (UU.), up 0.83% to 977p. Consumer goods stocks were ahead, too.

CRH (CRH) has reported sales up 35% to €12.7bn in H1, with EBITDA more than doubling to €1.12bn. It was helped by ongoing strength in the Americas. Interim dividend rose 1.6% to 18.8 euro cents a share. Its shares stole the blue-chip show, rising 2.88% to 2540p.

At 4.53pm, WTI crude was up 0.56% to $47.03/bbl and Brent was up 0.82% to $49.45/bbl. Of the former, support and resistance were broadly seen around $46/bbl and $50/bbl. Gold shed 0.31% to $1325.6/oz, with silver and copper broadly flat. Mining and oil majors receded.

FTSE 100 closed down 18.88 points, or 0.28%, to 6816.9, while FTSE 250 shed 147.65, or 0.82%, to 17,867.0. Same time, Wall St began with faint gains on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite.

Global markets are on tenterhooks ahead of US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen issuing her Jackson Hole speech tomorrow, it following recent hawkish tones from several Fed members. Attentions are focused on the US central bank's likely future interest-rate policy.

BIGGER MOVERS

Chinese medicine firm Taihua (TAIH) soared 100% to 2.25p on plans to raise money at more than twice yesterday's share price. The price seems deliberately high and a way to get a Chinese shareholder to pay a chunky price to increase their stake to 25.85%.

Alexander Mining (AXM) subsidiary MetaLeach has executed a licence agreement with Accudo Metals, a new Australian company established to exploit Alexander's proprietary leaching technologies. Shares in AXM were up 65.12% to 0.18p.

Strate Aero (AERO) fell 34.38% to 0.53p as raised £370,000 gross via a placing of 74m new shares at 0.5p each. Proceeds would go to working capital, to fund ongoing litigation and expedite development of the company's integrated UAV offering.

Bellzone Mining's (BZM) economic outlook for its Kalia project disappointed investors. The project was arguably not viable to develop at current nickel prices. BZM's shares fell 25.81% to 0.23p.

ECONOMIC NEWS

US initial unemployment claims fell to 261,000 in the week ended Aug. 20, down 1000 on the week, US Department of Labor said. The four-week moving average was 264,000, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 265,250.

US working gas in storage rose to 3,350bn cu ft on Aug. 19, US Energy Information Administration estimated. This was up 11bn cu ft on the week. Meantime, the US flash manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 52.1 in August, from 52.9 in July.

US new orders for manufactured durable goods in July rose $9.7bn, or 4.4%, to $228.9bn, US Census Bureau said. Core durable goods rose 1.5% in July, from a 0.3% fall in June.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Bushveld Minerals (BMN), down 12.31% to 1.43p, raised £580,000 for general working capital, but was trading lower due to the placing shares being at a discount to yesterday's close.

Thor Mining (THR), down 7.69% to 0.03p, confirms the start of its aircore drilling campaign designed to test for additional tungsten mineralisation within a 6km radius of its existing Molyhil tungsten deposit in Australia.

Kibo Mining (KIBO) rose 7.5% to 5.38p after signing an agreement with Chinese contractor SEPCO III, allowing it to earn the right to become the sole bidder for the EPC contract to build the power plant component of Kibo's project.

OptiBiotix (OPTI), down 5.41% to 70p, has widened its H1 pretax loss to £0.7m, from a loss of £0.5m. Revenue was just £88,252, from nil. Administrative expenses figured heavily in both periods.

IFG Group (IFP), down 4.21% to 176.25p, has reported a solid H1 performance but saw uncertain market conditions ahead. Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo (CHOO), up 4.88% to 123.5p, was in the spotlight and trading 6.7% higher as h1 results revealed sales growth and margin expansion.

Franco Manco and Real Greek restaurants operator The Fulham Shore (FUL) advanced 3.36% to 19.25p on news that four new outlets would open in its current financial year and trials for home delivery with Deliveroo were 'encouraging'.

Online gambling technology group Playtech (PTEC), up 3.17% to 928p, was in positive territory after rewarding investors with a 57c (40p) special dividend on top of a 46c (40p) normal dividend. Playtech saw net profit increase by 84% at constant currency rates.

Vitesse Media (VIS), down 2.94% to 4.13p, has substantially reduced its H1 pretax loss to £69m, from a loss of £125m. Directors were confident the company would return to profit this financial year.

Scottish media company STV (STVG), up 1.37% to 371.63p, boosted its operating profit by nearly a third, driven by high margin revenue activities of digital and regional airtime, prompting a 33% hike in the interim dividend to 4p per share.

Construction group Henry Boot (BHY) was up 0.31% to 205.63p after it posted a strong H1 pre-tax profit, up 48.6%, with trading since the Brexit vote proceeding as envisaged.


By StockMarketWire | 25/08/2016 - 11:50

The FTSE slipped 0.3% to 6,817 as several blue chips went ex-dividend.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil advanced 0.2% to $46.87 and Brent crude oil nudged higher to $49 per barrel, respectively.

Gold was stable at $1,324 per ounce, while copper rallied 0.3% to $4,585 per tonne.

MAIN NEWS OF THE DAY

Ongoing strength in the Americas region boosted CRH's (CRH) first half results and sent shares up 3.6% to £25.58.

MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Online gambling technology group Playtech (PTEC) was in positive territory after rewarding investors with a 57c (40p) special dividend on top of a 46c (40p) normal dividend. Playtech saw net profit increase by 84% at constant currency rates.

Infrastructure investor John Laing (JLG) improved its net asset value by 8.3% to £963.7 million in the six months to 30 June.

Ascential (ASCL) agreed to acquire e-commerce analytics provider One Click Retail.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Chinese medicine firm Taihua (TAIH) soared 100% to 2.25p on plans to raise money at more than twice yesterday's share price. The price seems deliberately high and a way to get a Chinese shareholder to pay a chunky price to increase their stake to 25.85%.

Kibo Mining (KIBO) rose 12.6% to 5.63p after signing an agreement with Chinese contractor SEPCO III, allowing it to earn the right to become the sole bidder for the EPC contract to build the power plant component of Kibo's project.

Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo (CHOO) was in the spotlight and trading 6.7% higher as half year results reveal sales growth and margin expansion.

Construction group Henry Boot (BHY) nudged higher after the company had a strong first half with pre-tax profit up by 48.6% with trading since the Brexit vote proceeding as envisaged.

Scottish media company STV (STVG) boosted its operating profit by nearly a third, driven by high margin revenue activities of digital and regional airtime, prompting a 33% hike in the interim dividend to 4p per share.

Franco Manco and Real Greek restaurants operator The Fulham Shore (FUL) advanced 3.3% to 19.25p on news that four new outlets would open in its current financial year and trials for home delivery with Deliveroo were 'encouraging'.

Bellzone Mining's (BZM) economic outlook for its Kalia project disappointed investors, who jumped ship and dragged the share price 22.6% to 0.24p. The project is arguably not viable to develop at current nickel prices.

Bushveld Minerals (BMN) raised £580,000 for general working capital purposes, but traded 10.7% lower after placing new shares at a discount to yesterday's closing price.


By StockMarketWire | 25/08/2016 - 08:51

London stocks opened southbound, as anticipated, with pharmas, miners, insurers and commercial property mostly providing collective ballast. Utilities eked out minor gains for the most part.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 38.47 points, or 0.56%, to 6797.31 and FTSE 250 was lower 108.49, or 0.6%, to 17,906.2. A reasonable number of stocks going ex-dividend was also a factor in the softness.

At about 8.39am, WTI crude was up 0.17% to $46.85 and Brent was up 0.02% to $49.06/bbl. Gold was down 0.01% to fetch $1329.6/oz. Essentially their prices were trading sideways.

Hikma (HIK) guided pharmas with a 3.99% slide to 2139p, and was traced by Shire (SHP), off 3.39% to 4854.5. More followed further back.

Miners were faltering in the wake of Glencore (GLEN), down 3.87% to 176.88p, while commercial property tapered behind Hammerson (HMSO), off 2.58% to 575.25p.

Insurers followed Prudential (PRU), lower 2.14% to 1350.5p. Banks were generally lower, but off the overall pace, this true of leisure, house builders, consumer goods and oilies.

Just 17 blue chips fashioned gains. CRH (CRH), up 3.16% to 2547p, led as its H1 EBITDA more than doubled to €1.12bn. Interim dividend was 18.8 euro cents a share.

A few utilities traipsed north behind National Grid (NG.), up 0.24% to 1066p, but were mostly muted in their performance.

BIGGER MOVERS

Taihua (TAIH), up 60% to 1.8p, has published a circular to shareholders regarding a capital raising for about £0.7m via an open offer at an issue price of 2.63p a share.

Bellzone Mining (BZM) fell 16.13% to 0.26p as it updated on the results of a technical study undertaken on its Kalia Project for the production of ferronickel, as the first step in exploiting the project's iron-ore concession.

Thor Mining (THR), down 15.38% to 0.03p, confirms the start of its aircore drilling campaign designed to test for additional tungsten mineralisation within a 6km radius of its existing Molyhil tungsten deposit in Australia.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Kibo Mining (KIBO), up 12.5% to 5.62p, has inked a new agreement with SEPCO III on the Mbeya Coal to Power Project, securing cash payment and avoiding equity dilution

Vitesse Media (VIS), down 8.82% to 3.88p, has substantially reduced its H1 pretax loss to £69m, from a loss of £125m. Directors were confident the company would return to profit this financial year.

Jimmy Choo (CHOO), up 5.42% to 124.13p, has reported revenue growth of 9.2% at reported currency and 3.8% at constant currency in the six months to the end of June. Adjusted EBITDA rose 12.8% to £31.3m.

OptiBiotix (OPTI), down 5.41% to 70p, has widened its H1 pretax loss to £0.7m, from a loss of £0.5m. Revenue was just £88,252, from nil. Administrative expenses figured heavily in both periods.

IFG Group (IFP), down 4.21% to 176.25p, has reported a solid H1 performance but saw uncertain market conditions ahead.

Henry Boot (BHY), up 3.72% to 212.63p, posts pre-tax profits of £20.8m for the six months to the end of June - 48.6% up on last time.

Zamano (ZMNO), up 2.5% to 10.25p, has recorded an H1 pretax profit of €0.8m, from a year-ago profit of €1.1m. Revenue was much improved to €18.7m, from €10.4m. It noted mixed overall trading, but improvements in sales performance and cash generation.

Other stocks in the news included Air Partner (AIR), Phoenix Group (PHNX), Sierra Rutile (SRX), Camellia (CAM), Spire Healthcare (SPI), Cairn Homes (CRN), Ascential (ASCL), Fulham Shore (FUL) and Allied Minds (ALM).


By StockMarketWire | 25/08/2016 - 06:08

London shares are seen opening cautiously in the wake of yesterday's commodities drubbing, with a softer turns on Wall St and Asia likely to provide cue in a session rich with ex-dividend stocks.

Traders will be looking to UK's CBI Realised Sales data late morning, and this afternoon a swathe of US durable goods, unemployment and services data.

US & ASIA

On Wall St last night, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.35% to 18,481.48, the S&P 500 lost 0.52% to 2175.44 and the Nasdaq Composite ebbed 0.81% to 5217.7.

In Asia this morning, the Nikkei 225 had fallen 0.15% to 16,572.08, while the Hang Seng shied 0.06% to 22,808.9.

At 6.041m, WTI crude was up 0.04% to $46.79/bbl and Brent was down 0.08% to $49.01. Gold was up 0.03% to $1329.3/oz as concerns about the global economy's health increased.

LONDON MARKETS

Interim results are scheduled by Allied Minds, Anglo Pacific, Boot (Henry), CRH, Cairn Homes, IFG, John Laing, Macfarlane, Optibiotix Health, Playtech, Spire Healthcare and STV.

Coral Products issues its final results, and The Fulham Shore holds a shareholder meeting.