- FTSE indices were mixed midday, the blue chip down and the mid cap barely in positive territory, with drinks giants, retailers, supermarkets and financials prominent fallers.

Near noon and ahead of the long weekend, the FTSE 100 was down 19.71 points, or 0.29%, to 6800.85, while the FTSE 250 was up 5.82 points, or 0.04%, to 15,680.9.

In the US last night, the Dow rose 10 points to 16,543, the Nasdaq added 22 points at 4,154 and the S&P 500 gained 4 points at 1,892. In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 124 points at 14,462 and the Hang Seng was ahead 8 points at 22,962.

Drinks heavyweight Diageo (DGE) fell 1.86% to 1888.75p, while SABMiller (SAB) lost 1.73% to 3313.75. Broader retail stocks were in the frame with Burberry (BRBY) down 1.8% to 1501.5p and Next (NXT) off 1.65% to 6550p.

Men's formal wear specialist Moss Bros (MOSB) fell 1.63% to 120.5p despite delivering a solid trading statement. Trading improved over the year's opening 16 weeks to 17 May, though subdued hire sales detracted from strong 8.5% like-for-like growth in the retail business, driven by e-commerce gains and store refurbishments.

Investors cut supermarket shares. Morrisons (MRW) fell 1.39% to 202.5p, while Marks & Spencer (MKS) eased 0.8% to 444.2p. Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) lost 0.74% to 5002.5p.

Financial sector stocks Admiral (ADM), down 1.29% to 1382p, Prudential (PRU), down 1.09% to 1384.75p, Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.), down 0.88% to 1182.5p, also suffered.

Insurance and holidays provider for the over-50s Saga (SAGA) was trading at 185.38p as conditional dealing kicked off in the latest company to debut in London. The float was priced at the bottom of its revised range, most likely because institutional investors weren't prepared to pay a premium rating desired by Saga.

Elsewhere on the fallers' board were a mix of big-ticker miners, while pharmaceutical plays also made a noticeable appearance, Pfizer love interest AstraZeneca (AZN) down 0.4% to 4257.75p.

Growing support for London Stock Exchange's (LSE) move to acquire US-based index provider and asset manager Russell Investments lifted the shares 1.44% to 1835p.


Prospective unconventional oil and gas play Rose Petroleum (ROSE:AIM) soared up 116.22% to 2p as it published a reserve report and economic analysis of its newly acquired acreage in Utah and finnCap initiates with 5p price target.

There's big news for the train operators as one of the big London franchises is won by Go-Ahead (GOG), its shares up 9.15% to 2116.5p. It has pinched the expanded Thameslink network from FirstGroup (FGP), down 0.07% to 134.7p. Investec called it a 'major coup' for Go-Ahead, gives certainty over rail earnings for a number of years and raising the chance of a dividend hike in the future. It raised the price target for the winner from 2300p to 2630p.

Oil explorer Mediterranean Oil & Gas (MOG:AIM) gushed up 17.87% to 6.63p as rival Rockhopper (RKH:AIM) made a recommended cash and shares offer for the company worth up to £45.3m. Rockhopper, itself down 0.66% to 93.88p, is paying 6.5p a share up front with a contingent payment of 3.5p dependent on the success of an exploration well targeting the Hagar Qim prospect offshore Malta.

Struggling online services procurement portal Blur (BLUR:AIM) got its FY numbers out at last, which were roughly in line with heavily downgraded expectations after its bookings bombshell. A deeply discounted $20m cash call saw the shares collapse again, falling 23.22% to 81p, almost back to the 78p October 2012 IPO price. The stock was trading at 792.5p in January.

Electric scooter producer Vmoto (VMT:AIM) sped up 9.39% to 2.68p on another positive trading missive, highlighting profitable growth and burgeoning brand traction in China and Asia generally.

A three-year contract for its auto reporting software with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) sparked a 8.85% share price jump to 61.5p for Arria NLG (NLG:AIM).


The Germany IFO - Business Climate came in at 110.4 in May, data from CESifo Group showed, marginally below forecasts for 111 and from 111.2 in April.

Italian retail sales fell a seasonally adjusted -0.2% in March, against expectations for a rise of 0.3%.

US new home sales data is out mid-afternoon.


Smiths (SMIN) was down 1.22% to 1299p in response to its latest profit warning. The culprit was its detection division, a maker of sensors to detect explosives, chemical agents and biohazards, which is expected to see FY profits £25m below expectations thanks to working capital requirements, a £9m hit from lower volumes and lower margin work and £4m of additional costs associated with long-running contracts.

FTSE 250 biotech BTG (BTG) rose 4.57% to 572p after securing clearance from the US regulator for its EkoSonic Endovascular System for treating pulmonary embolisms, a blockage in the artery.

EasyJet (EZJ) founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou is bringing his hotels business to the stockmarket. A £60m fund raise would accompany admission to Aim for EasyHotel, giving a pot of money to acquire and develop new hotels. The business presently has two freehold sites and 17 franchised hotels.

Quindell (QPP:AIM) unveils its long-mooted share consolidation plans, though it did little for the battered share price, down 0.61% to 19.63p. Quindell wants investors to support a 15-for-1 stock fusion as it lines up a main market switch and likely FTSE 250 entrance.

Profitable budget footwear seller Shoe Zone (SHOE:AIM) was trading at 169p in debut Aim dealings, joining the market's burgeoning band of businesses targeting the value sector. Story provided by