StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices bent lower as traders indulged in festive-season profit taking on house builders, after their surge yesterday, with big banks and resources outfits also figuring notably on the blue-chip losers' ladder. Wall St rose overnight, but Asia was mixed.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 31.98 points, or 0.51%, to 6282.59. FTSE 250 was down 39.66, or 0.23%, to 17,529.7. At 8.23am, crude was down more than 1% but still holding above USD37/bbl. Precious and industrial metals were mixed. Europe was mildly lower.

BHP Billiton (BLT) was guiding miners south with a 1.84% slip to 761.55p, while Rio Tinto (RIO) fell 1.42% to 1950p and Anglo American (AAL) shed 1.31% to 303.33p. Among oil majors, BP (BP.) tapered 1.77% to 354.38p and BG (BG.) eased 1.31% to 992.3p.

The easing of resources-hungry China's yuan did not help, possibly also having an impact on Asia-focused banks. Media reports also said China was moving to clamp down on cross-border yuan arbitraging by banks. Standard Chartered (STAN) faded 1.83% to 570.15p, while HSBC (HSBA) lost 1.68% to 535.45p. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) slipped 1.47% to 305.55p.

House builders were on the back foot after Barratt Developments (BDEV), down 0.83% to 628.75p, and Taylor Wimpey (TW.). The sector rose yesterday as traders moved to factor in the chronic shortage of UK housing stock. Commercial property, supermarkets and utilities also eased.

Overall there were about 7 blue-chip stocks gaining, among them Shire (SHP), up 0.95% to 4727.5p. International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) rose 0.45% to 612.25p. Consumer goods was notably firmer, too. Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) added 0.14% to 6314p and Unilever (ULVR) firmed 0.05% to 2942.5p.

BIGGER MOVERS

Mirada (MIRA), up 18.92% to 5.5p, has posted a marginally narrower H1 pretax loss of GBP0.8m, from GBP0.88m. Revenue was GBP2.3m, from GBP2.2m. The losses were primarily linked to administrative expenses. It was on track to produce a FY performance in line with market views.

Ruspetro (RPO), up 18.53% to 5.63p, said Bank Otkritie Financial Corp has accepted its proposal to agree new covenants on loan facilities. Meantime, Eco City Vehicles (ECV), up 9.52% to 2.88p, has raised GBP5m via a subscription of 409.8m shares at 1.22p each.

Minoan Group (MIN), up 8.93% to 7.63p, said it has been advised that the process for approving the presidential decree (PD), which resembles an outline planning consent, is now reaching its final stages.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Crimson Tide (TIDE), up 3.36% to 3.08p, has begun the process of seeking shareholder approval to undergo a capital reconstruction and has called a General Meeting.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH), up 2.8% to 165.5p, confirms the successful completion of its previously announced acquisition of Zuplenz (ondansetron), a marketed oncology product from Galena Biopharma, Inc.

LXB Retail Properties (LXB), up 1.31% to 96.75p, has completed the sale of its investment at Brocklebank, Greenwich. It has received initial cash proceeds of GBP22.8m. Directors concluded that up to GBP18m can be returned to shareholders and through a buyback.

Japan Residential Investment Company's (JRIC), up 0.35% to 72p, shares have been suspended on AIM with the scheme for its takeover by Nikko III Pte expected to take effect today. If the scheme become effective today, JRIC's shares on AIM would be cancelled by Dec. 31.

Regional REIT (RGL), up 0.24% to 105p, has exchanged contracts to purchase five regional assets from a retained Client of La Salle Investment Management for a total consideration of GBP37.5m in an off-market deal.

Ortac Resources (OTC), flat at 0.04p, has posted an H1 pretax loss of GBP0.34m, from a year-earlier loss of GBP0.79m. Revenue was GBP86,000, from nil, and most of the losses were linked to administrative expenses.

Georgia Healthcare (GHG), down 0.3% to 162.63p, has launched two new ambulatory clusters in Tbilisi, the capital city and in Kutaisi, the capital of West-Georgia. KEFI Minerals (KEFI), flat at 0.32p, has finished the year in a strong position and eagerly looks forward to reporting further progress in 2016, it said in an operational update.

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