StockMarketWire.com - London equities were nudging higher in early deals with corporate news helping the blue-chip eke out cautious gains ahead of Bank of England issuing its interest-rate decision at midday.

This followed on from the US Federal Reserve holding rates last night, with markets overall jittery amid Brexit concerns and the US elections.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 5.06 points, or 0.07%, to 6850.48, while FTSE 250 was up 20.77, or 0.12%, to 17,484.2.

At 8.12am, WTI crude was up 0.6% to $45.61 a barrel and Brent was up 0.81% to $47.24/bbl, both having overall suffered on over-supply concerns. Gold was down 0.43% to $1302.6/oz.

Shire (SHP) guided the FTSE 100 north with a rise of 4.04% to 4610.5p, and was chased by Dixons Carphone (DC.), up 3.06% to 336.4p, and Sainsbury (SBRY), ahead 1.78% to 257.4p.

Investment specialist Schroders (SDR) gained 1.38% to 2824.5p after its H1 pretax profit slipped, while Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) rose 1.02% to 1787p on confirming its FY expectations.

Morrisons (MRW), up 1.04% to 223.6p, said in the 13 weeks to Oct. 30 its like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 1.6%, and up 3.4% if fuel was included. Total sales excluding fuel were down 1.2%, and up 1.1% including fuel.

Oil majors were edging higher after Shell (RDSA), up 0.74% to 2069.75p, while several banks followed Barclays (BARC) as it added 0.77% to 183.45p.

RSA Insurance (RSA), up 0.51% to 546.75p and among a vanguard of rising insurers, said it is on track for strong operating earnings increases for 2016 overall.

Blue-chip risers outnumbered fallers 55 to 45. Most moves were muted. Miners were notable to the downside, as were house builders and several utilities.

Randgold Resources (RRS), down 2.74% to 7377.5p, improved its 9-month pretax profit to $274.8m, from $190.3m. A strong Q3 has kept it on track to meet its 2016 guidance.

Glencore (GLEN), down 1.34% to 243.63p, said year-to-date production is in line with expectations, reflecting the various operational suspensions/supply reductions announced and actioned notably in coal, oil, copper and zinc.

Croda International (CRDA), down 0.14% to 3456p, has reaffirmed its FY outlook.

BIGGER MOVERS

HaloSource (HALO), down 52.63% to 1.13p, has warned its FY net loss will be higher than market views.

Zoo Digital (ZOO), up 21.88% to 9.75p, has swung to an H1 pretax profit to $421,000, from a year-ago loss of $6000. Revenue was $7.8m, from $6.6m.

Esure (ESUR), down 27.95% to 191.5p, has today completed the demerger of Gocompare.com Group. Shares in Gocompare.com (GOCO), trading at 75p, were admitted today to the premium segment of the Official List.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Plutus PowerGen (PPG), up 13.33% to 1.7p, has successfully brought its first power generation site in Plymouth into operation. Attune Energy is now operating at full output.

Inmarsat (ISAT), up 8.77% to 794p, reports solid progress in Q3 in challenging markets. Profit after tax fell $8.3m to $53.9m.

Sirius Minerals (SXX), down 8.63% to 30.38p, has successfully placed $400m of Guaranteed Convertible Bonds due 2023. It also raised £370m gross via placings linked to its Stage 1 financing requirements to begin the construction of its North Yorkshire polyhalite project.

Shawbrook (SHAW), up 5.13% to 222.15p, said the momentum of H1 continued into Q3 with the group exceeding £4.0bn of customer loans.

Howden Joinery (HWDN), down 4.87% to 363.3p, has seen a solid performance in H2, including during the important October trading period. It is on track to meet FY expectations.

Servoca (SVCA), down 3% to 24.25p, expects its preliminary results will be in line with market expectations.

H&T Group (HAT), up 3.25% to 285.5p, expects its FY pretax profit to be above the top end of market expectations.

Hilton Food (HFG), up 1.81% to 604.75p, said it continues to trade in line with the board's expectations.

Low & Bonar (LWB), up 0.74% to 68p, said it remains on track to meet expectations for the FY.

Other stocks in the news included Sierra Rutile (SRX), 3i Infrastructure (3IN), Rosslyn Data Technologies (RDT), Regus (RGS), Wizz Air (WIZZ), LukOil (LKOH) and Kodal Minerals (KOD).




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