- FTSE indices closed down at historic lows with hefty falls in supermarkets paving the way and the result of investors unimpressed by updates from Sainsbury (SBRY) and Tesco (TSCO). Wall St opened south following a string of economic data.

At the close, FTSE 100 was down 65.2 points, or 0.98%, to 6557.52, around multi-month lows. FTSE 250 eased 168.83 points, or 1.1%, to 15,210.9, a level last seen in Q4 2013. Global markets have been cautious about air strikes against terror group IS in Syria and Iraq.

Sainsbury (SBRY), down 6.96% to 234p, said a tough market meant it now expected H2 like-for-like sales to be similar on the year. Tesco (TSCO), down 3.22% to 180.2p, is being probed by the Financial Conduct Authority after its £250m overstatement of expected profits.

Resources stocks figured. Energy issues were led down by BG Group (BG.), off 4.12% to 1093p, which was buying equipment for a North Sea exploration well. Cairn Energy (CNE) fell 2.78% to 171.6p. Miners were piloted south by Lonmin (LMI), off 4.84% to 176.8p.

Several financial stocks were down, notably big banks, albeit off the south-bound pace. Others in the sector were on the up. Insurers, utility outfits and pharmaceutical stocks also featured on both sides of the FTSE ledger. Banks, led by


Findel (FDL) said it expected to report an H1 pretax profit for the first time in six years. Although sales were flat, those in its biggest business, Express Gifts, were up 6% on the year. Findel had made progress slashing debt. Its shares rose 30.63% to 316.13p.

FinnAust Mining (FAM) said assay results have confirmed the discovery of additional high-grade copper, zinc, silver and gold mineralisation that extended the polymetallic mineralised lode at its Hammaslahti project in Finland. Its shares rose 28.76% to 3.38p.

Blinkx (BLNX) was confident about its prospects going forward after taking decisive steps to fortify its business model and realign its resources. It saw H1 2015 revenues of $102m-$104m, with H1 2015 adjusted EBITDA at approximately break-even. Its shares fell 13.82% to 30.38p.

Ferrum Crescent (FCR) posted a FY pretax loss of $2.6m, from $1.9m a year ago. Ferrum was disappointed by AAI's failure to meet it payment schedule, but said it had been able to pursue other avenues for financing. Its shares fell 17.65% to 0.7p.


Stateside, Markit's final US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) hit 57.5 in September, from August's 57.9. US construction spending in August was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $961.0bn, 0.8% below the revised July estimate of $968.8bn.

Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 16th month, but at a slower pace, Institute for Supply Management data showed. The ISM's PMI fell to 56.6%, from August's 59% and expectations for a print of 58.6%. ISM's Prices Index hit 59.5% in September, from August's 58%.

The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI fell to 51.6, against a downwardly revised August print of 52.2. Euro zone's PMI for September printed at 50.3, from August's 50.7.


Numis Corp (NUM) fell 10.07% to 239p despite saying FY revenues from core activities rose 19%. Its H2 performance 'did not match that of the same period last year, reflecting lower market volumes.'

MediaZest (MDZ), down 3.13% to 0.17p, confirmed contract wins with revenues totalling about £0.62m. One contract, with a large multi-national company and partners, was expected to generate revenues of about £0.4m. It had potential to be rolled out further.

St. Modwen Properties (SMP), up 0.9% to 370.3p, said all areas of the business were making excellent progress, supported by tangible regional UK growth. FY pretax profit would have increased beyond existing market consensus and was now seen materially ahead of 2013.

Shaft Sinkers (SHFT), down 7.74% to 8.88p, said Hillside International has agreed to expand the quantum of funds made immediately available to it from £3.5m to £5m. Shaft has also agreed a £3.0m bank guarantee facility in relation to its contract with TNK Kazchrome JSC. Story provided by