FTSE indices were mixed midday, the blue chips up and mid caps down, with the top-100 ladder helped by resources plays marching higher. Investors continued to bet on further stimulus ahead in the euro zone. UK gross domestic product (GDP) data was met with calm.
Near noon, FTSE 100 was up 12.95 points, or 0.19%, to 6744.09, while FTSE 250 was down 42.06, or 0.27%, to 15,789.5. The FTSE 350 index for industrial metals was down 2.07%, while that for oil equipment services & distribution was off 1.14%.
Antofagasta (ANTO) led the blue chips with a 3.72% rise to 760.75p, followed by BHP Billiton (BLT) and others. Among the energy plays SSE (SSE) rose 1.11% to 1597.5p. United Utilities' (UU.) fell 0.68% to 908.25p as its lower H1 pretax profit disappointed. Energy stocks Cairn Energy (CNE) Wood Group (WG.) and BP (BP.) also eased.
Several retailers enjoyed mild gains. B&Q owner Kingfisher (KGF) added 1% to 294.2p, followed by Burberry (BRBY). Outside the top 100, French Connection (FCCN) rose 10.78% to 56.5p after an upbeat trading statement. Several financial issues were also on the up.
To the downside, TUI Travel (TT.) fell 1.45% to 420.3p and, again outside the top 100, Thomas Cook (TCG) plunged 20.45% to 109.7p on a lower FY pretax profit and news CEO Harriet Green would be replaced by COO Peter Fankhauser. Thomas Cook also warned growth would be more moderate in the coming year.
Motive Television (MTV) has reached agreement with CCAN 2005 Inversiones Societarias to acquire the remaining 32.3% of Spanish subsidiary Motive Television SL that it does not own for 0.6m euros. Motive's shares soared 31.15% to 0.02p.
Kalimantan Gold Corporation (KLG) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with Tigers Realm Copper to purchase that company's interest in the Beutong copper-gold project, Indonesia. It would pay 171.4m in shares and 14.7m in warrants. Kalimantan's shares rose 76.67% to 3.18p.
Security Research Group (SRG) has proposed cancelling the admission of its shares on AIM. The AGM is on Dec. 18. Its shares plunged 25.83% to 44.5p. Meantime, Findel (FDL) fell 12.87% to 206.5p despite reporting its first interim pretax profit in six years. Current trading was mixed, however, with overall sales 'slightly behind.'
WANdisco (WAND) said a global US-based credit card and financial services company has signed a subscription contract to use its Non-Stop Hadoop in mission-critical customer transaction analysis. The subscription value is, for the initial deployment, about $0.25m a year. Its shares added 11.87% 367.5p.
UK GDP growth in Q3 was confirmed at 0.7%, official data showed. This was expected. Other data showed business investment fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in Q3, on the quarter. A seasonally adjusted rise of 2.3% was expected. Q2's business investment growth was 3.3%. The UK index of services gained 0.8% in Q3, from a 0.8% rise in the preceding quarter and ahead of expectations for a 0.7% rise.
Germany's import price index rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in Q3, from -0.1% in the preceding quarter. The market had expected the index to remain broadly flat.
IGas (IGAS), up 7.79% to 60.63p, has booked an H1 pretax profit of £1.5m, from a year earlier profit of £4.6m. Revenue slipped to £34.5m, from £36.2m. Average net production hit 2766 boepd, against 2704 boepd a year ago. It anticipated drilling two more wells in 2015.
Paypoint (PAY) perked up 4.54% to 967.5p as excitement mounts ahead of tomorrow's interim results. Elsewhere, Britvic (BVIC) lost 4.31% to 666.5p as news of a slow start to the new financial year overshadows strong full year results and 13.6% dividend hike to 20.9p.
Finsbury Food (FIF) baked in a 4.13% gain to 63p. In the first four months of FY 2015 it had generated 3.9% organic sales growth and there's a confident outlook on Fletchers acquisition. Meantime, First Property (FPO) rose 7.83% to 29.25p on interim pretax profits rising 184% to £5.4m and a 6% dividend hike to 0.35p.
Ixico (IXI) sparked up 10% to 38.5p on news its two clinical trial contracts for Huntington’s disease have been extended to a potential £2.5 million over three years. Kefi Minerals (KEFI) fell 3.67% to 1.18p despite finally resolving a gap in its finances.