StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices were southbound with Asia-focused banks tapering on matters potentially related to China's yuan. Several supermarkets were under pressure, as were a number of commercial property issues. Big-ticket miners were mixed, as were key European indices.

Towards 12pm, FTSE 100 was down 25.5 points, or 0.4%, to 6289.07. FTSE 250 was down 44.2, or 0.25%, to 17,525.2. At 11.44am, WTI crude was down 2.5% to USD36.93/bbl and Brent was off 1.8% to USD37.11/bbl. Spot gold, silver and copper prices fell, but other industrial metals rose.

The easing of resources-hungry China's yuan was in focus, as were media reports on the country's moves to clamp down on cross-border yuan arbitraging by banks. RBS (RBS) fell 1.5% to 305.45p, Standard Chartered (STAN) lost 1.5% to 572.1p and HSBC (HSBA) eased 1.28% to 537.65p.

Falls among house builders were more muted to noon, but these were replaced by commercial property stocks towards the top of the blue-chip losers' ladder. Land Securities (LAND) fell 0.96% to 1190.5p, while British Land (BLND) eased 0.88% to 789.5p. Also tapering were a string of insurers and investment specialists.

Burberry (BRBY) led retail and blue chips down with a slip of 1.67% to 1204.5p, and was followed by Sainsbury (SBRY), off 0.98% to 262.3p. Outside the FTSE 100, Ocado (OCDO) slumped 4.73% to 310.5p, with sentiment souring on reports Amazon is preparing to expand the range of grocery products it sells in the New Year.

Although Glencore (GLEN) shed 1.6% to 91.61p, more miners made headway. Antofagasta (ANTO), up 1.88% to 469.35p, Fresnillo (FRES), up 1.62% to 721.5p, and Anglo American (AAL), up 1.46% to 311.83p, all enjoyed gains. Among the roughly 30 blue-chip risers were several utilities, a number of leisure outfits and consumer goods.

BIGGER MOVERS

Mirada (MIRA) jumped 32.43% to 6.13p as it posted a marginally narrower H1 pretax loss of GBP0.8m, from GBP0.88m. Management was hopeful the outfit was on track to produce a FY performance in line with market views.

Crimson Tide (TIDE) rallied 16.81% to 3.48p as it began the process of seeking shareholder approval to undergo a capital reconstruction and has called a General Meeting. Investors are hopeful this could trigger first dividends from a company that in December flagged the ahead of plan roll-out on a major GBP1.1m, three-year contract.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Euro-zone M3 money supply rose 5.1% on the year in November, against an expected rise of 5.2% and from 5.3% in October. Separately, Spain's consumer prices dropped 0.3% in December, against expectations for a fall of 0.1%.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Minoan (MIN) added 10.71% to 7.75p as it explained the process for approving the presidential decree (PD), which resembled an outline planning consent, was now reaching its final stages.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH), up 10.25% to 177.5p, confirmed the successful completion of its previously announced acquisition of Zuplenz (ondansetron), a marketed oncology product from Galena Biopharma.

Eco City Vehicles (ECV), which has emerged from administration as a cash shell on the hunt for assets across the telecommunications, media and technology sectors, speeded 9.52% higher to 2.88p after raising GBP5m at 1.22p in a funding backed by directors.

Ruspetro (RPO) leaped 8% to 5.13p as it confirmed Bank Otkritie Financial has accepted its proposal to agree new covenants on loan facilities. 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.

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), down 0.95% to 103.75p, 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.

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