FTSE and European indices entrenched their heady falls to noon as nervy investors dumped equities on fears Greece might leave the euro zone after that country voted resoundingly against an international bailout. Financial-sector stocks were pummelled, as were miners.
To midday, FTSE 100 was down 31.69 points, or 0.48%, to 6554.09. FTSE 250 was down 109.44, or 0.62%, to 17,504.0. Germany's DAX dived 1.14% and France's CAC 40 shed 1.29%. Greece does, at face value, appear willing to re-enter talks with creditors, this signalled by the departure of its flamboyant Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis.
In London, Rolls-Royce (RR.) motored down 9.02% to 779.25p as it said the overall, performance for 2015 for the bulk of its business is expected to be broadly in line with guidance. It said further softening in the offshore market is now expected to impact FY profit for Marine. But, Royal Mail (RMG) benefitted from safe haven appeal and a broker upgrade. It rose 1.39% to 512p.
Financials bore the brunt of investor fears over Greece's tenure as an EU member. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) tapered 2.14% to 351.6p to lead a posse of banks down, among them Barclays (BARC), off 1.71% to 258.45p. Also hurt were broader financials, Schroders (SDR) pared back 1.72% to 3119.5p, Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) lost 1.63% to 1116.5p and Prudential (PRU) faded 1.23% to 1543.25p.
Multiple miners fell in the wake of Antofagasta (ANTO), off 1.8% to 669.75p. At 11.39am, WTI crude was down 4.43% to $54.41/bbl, while Brent shed 2.32% to $58.92/bbl. Shell (RDSA) eased 0.95% to 1794.75p, with other oily issues trailing. Almost 30 blue chips posted gains, house builders, pharmas and utility outfits notable among them.
LiteBulb (LBB) dimmed 21.38% to 28.5p on a strategy change, boardroom shake-up and the lowering of full-year sales guidance. LiteBulb is calling a halt to acquisitions to instead drive organic growth. CEO Simon McGivern has resigned.
Europa Oil & Gas (EOG) flopped 18.98% to 6.38p as it announced plans to raise up to £3.4m in a share placing and open offer. Funds would cover start-up costs on the Wressle discovery and admin costs pertaining to the group's portfolio offshore Ireland.
Billington (BILN), up 14.25% to 252.5p, expected its H1 results to the be significantly ahead of current market forecasts. Its performance has continued to improve during H1. Seeing Machines (SEE), up 13.51% to 5.25p, said Caterpillar Safety Services (CSS) has ordered DSS units in preparation for delivery of Fatigue Risk Assessments for Caterpillar customers.
Velocys (VLS), down 13.58% to 99.38p, has suspended CEO Roy Lipski pending an investigation into allegations of serious misconduct. CFO Susan Robertson will act as CEO during the suspension of Lipski. Meantime, ECR Minerals (ECR) rose 12.5% to 0.09p, on positive results from trenching at the Itogon gold project.
Talks between debt-laden Greece -- whose hard-line Varoufakis quit after EU bigwigs took issue with his less than austere manner, possibly opening the way for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to make debt-talks progress -- and the EU are due to resume today. Asian markets were lower. Greek voters balloted 61.3% 'No' and 38.7% 'Yes'.
Euro-zone investor confidence improved in July. The Sentix Investor Confidence index rose to 18.5 in July, from 17.1 in June. The market expected a print of 16. Meantime, German factory orders in May fell. Seasonally adjusted orders eased 0.2%, having gained 2.2% in April, official data showed. The print was better than anticipated.
Intercede (IGP), up 6.88% to 101p, has reported a strong start to its new financial year with revenue in Q1 coming in at £2.7m, double that recorded in the same period last year. Gulf Marine Services (GMS) rose 5.96% to 137.75p as one of its large class of self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs) was contracted for decommissioning work.
Monitise (MONI), up 2.44% to 10.5p, said FY revenue is expected to be between £88m and £90m. As guided in March, Monitise expects H2 operating and capital expenses to be materially lower than H1, with a further improvement in FY 2016.
LGO Energy (LGO), down 1.35% to 3.28p, has reported positive results from GY-675, the latest development well on its flagship Goudron field in Trinidad. Avanti Communications (AVN), up 1.61% to 198.13p, said trading has remained in line with the trends outlined in Q3.
Bovis Homes (BVS), up 1.67% to 1160p, has reported a record number of H1 legal completions, made possible by the high-quality land investments made during the last few years. Average sales price on legal completions rose 6% to £222,000.
Wizz Air (WIZZ), up 0.44% to 1583p, easyJet (EZJ), down 0.28% to 1584.5p, and Aer Lingus (AERL), even at 2.4p, all issued improved June passenger numbers. Trakm8 (TRAK), down 0.85% to 174p, has hiked its FY pretax profit to £1.7m, from £0.4m. Revenue was up 95% to £17.9m, from £9.2m. The results were ahead of expectations.
Other stocks in the news included Marshalls (MSLH), Plexus (POS), Flowtech Fluidpower (FLO), ECR Minerals (ECR), PureCircle (PURE), Allergy Therapeutics (AGY), Caledonia Mining Corp (CMCL), RM Plc (RM.), Tarsus (TRS), Restore (RST) and Revolution Bars Group (RBG).