Amphion Innovations (AMP)

 

FTSE mixed ahead of May becoming PM

London equities opened mixed -- blue chips down and mid caps up -- as the UK moves to usher in Theresa May as Prime Minister after the non-binding Brexit vote for the country to quit the EU. Cautious markets are also looking to Bank of England's rates call tomorrow.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 18.2 points, or 0.27%, to 6662.49. FTSE 250 was up 8.2, or 0.05%, to 16,815.3. At 8.32am, WTI crude was at $46.11/bbl and Brent was at $47.65/bbl, both falling. Gold was at $1341/oz, and moderately up. Wall St and Asia were firmer.

The FTSE 100's fall was led by house builders, which have gained in recent sessions. Barratt Developments (BDEV) fell 5.43% to 390.85p as it forecast FY pretax profit to rise about 20% to roughly £680m, in line with views.

Also down were Berkeley (BKG), off 3.83% to 2589p, Persimmon (PSN), lower 3.36% to 1496p, and Taylor Wimpey (TW.), off 3.06% to 140.85p. Commercial property also ebbed, guided by Land Securities (LAND), down 1.81% to 1030p, and British Land (BLND), off 1.41% to 609.75p.

Also tapering were a raft of financials behind lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), easing 2.01% to 178.35p, and Barclays (BARC), down 1.88% to 145.75p. Asset managers, insurers and investment specialists were broadly on the back foot, too.

Supermarkets, consumer goods and high-street retail ebbed, but were off the overall southbound pace. Some in these sectors rose, however. Burberry (BRBY), up 2.08% to 1228p, said retail revenue totalled £423m in the three months to end-June, unchanged on an underlying basis and up 4% at reported forex rates.

Meantime, miners dominated to the upside behind Antofagasta (ANTO), up 4.53% to 508p, and Anglo American (AAL), up 2.41% to 850.55p. More trailed, as did US rates-sensitive utilities, which were guided north by United Utilities (UU.), up 0.35% to 1017.5p.

NEWS OF INTEREST

JD Wetherspoon (JDW), up 3.54% to 768.75p, said its like-for-like sales rose 4.0% and total sales gained 3.8% in the 11 weeks to July 10. In the 50 weeks to July 10, LFL sales rose 3.4% and total sales improved 5.5%.

AstraZeneca (AZN), up 0.53% to 4499.75p, has entered into an agreement with Sandoz and affiliates to resolve Faslodex (fulvestrant) patent litigation in the US relating to Sandoz's generic fulvestrant product, for which it is seeking FDA approval.

BIGGER MOVERS

Amphion Innovations (AMP), up 20% to 3.75p, has agreed terms for the draw-down of an additional tranche of $750,000 under the loan facility as initially announced June 5, 2014. Berkeley Energia (BKY), up 16% to 43.5p, advises that trading in its shares will be halted on the Australian Securities Exchange pending an announcement regarding a Definitive Feasibility Study at the Salamanca project.

STM Group (STM), down 15.07% to 0.28p, said management's H1 expectation is for pretax profit to be about £1.2m, versus £1.37m a year ago.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Poundland (PLND), up 12.44% to 220.38p, has recommended Steinhoff Group's 220p-a-share cash offer. In addition, the offer included Poundland's 2p a share final dividend due in September. The deal values Poundland at about £597m on a fully diluted basis.

Ashley House (ASH), up 13.33% to 8.5p, has swung into the black in the year to end-April with a pretax profit of £241,000, from a loss of £11.9m last time.

Motif Bio (MTBF), up 12.15% to 50.75p, has filed a registration statement with the US SEC relating to a proposed public offering of American Depositary Shares (ADSs). It has also applied to have its ADSs listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

Speedy Hire (SDY), up 8.8% to 34p, has made a positive start to year and believes its strategy and recovery plan provide the platform for FY results to be slightly ahead of directors' views.

Capital & Regional (CAL), up 5.88% to 54p, has reported a strong H1 performance and continued positive leasing momentum since the non-binding Brexit referendum.

Playtech (PTEC), up 5.24% to 858.75p, has acquired Best Gaming Technology GmbH (BGT) for €138m. The consideration was paid from Playtech's existing cash resources. BGT's main product is its proprietary software for self-service betting terminals.

Fenner (FENR), up 3.45% to 172.5p, expects to achieve an overall FY outcome in line with previous forecasts, save for the small currency related increase in earnings due to the depreciation of sterling. Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY), up 3.11% to 161.88p, continues to expect trading for the financial year to be in line with expectations.

Other stocks in the news included Gama Aviation (GMAA), GVC Holdings (GVC), FinnAust Mining (FAM), ICAP (IAP), Marshall Motor (MMH), Manx Telecom (MANX), Xaar (XAR), Samuel Heath & Sons (HSM), River and Mercantile (RIV), TP Group (TPG), Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust (SLI) and Rare Earth Minerals (REM).