- FTSE indices were down midday with supermarkets discounted on retail data, as-expected manufacturing data failing to inspire the market and concerns over raw metals demand damping big-ticket miners.

Near noon, the FTSE 100 was down 33.11 points, or 0.48%, to 6841.89, while the FTSE 250 was 15.26 points lower, or 0.09%, to 16,203.1.

In the US last night, the Dow rose 19 points to 16,943, the Nasdaq added 15 points at 4,336 and the S&P500 gained 2 points at 1,951. In Asia today, the Nikkei closed down 129 points at 14,995 and the Hang Seng was ahead 173 points at 23,290.

Miners lost ground on concerns over demand for raw materials, with Lonmin (LMI) shedding 4.96% to 238.35p, Vedanta (VED) losing 1.85% to 1169p, Anglo American (AAL) falling 1.36% to 1451.5p, and Glencore (GLEN) losing 1.32% to 321.98p.

Supermarkets and broadly related stocks got a nudge lower on the back of retail figures that showed the food sector showed the lowest growth. Morrison (MRW) eased 1.31% to 192.05p, Associated British Foods (ABF) fell 0.92% to 3029p, and Sainsbury (SBRY) shed 0.7% to 326.3p.

Tesco (TSCO) fell 0.17% to 293.6p after widespread reports of criticism by its former CEO.

Among other retails to fall were Burberry (BRBY), down 1.28% to 1465p, and sports retailer Sports Direct International (SPD), which fell 1.15% to 815.5p on increasing concerns over its latest bonus plans. Goldman Sachs has removed the group from its conviction buy list.

Also in the downward set were a string of energy related stocks, among them Cairn Energy (CNE), down 0.81% t 201.25p, National Grid (NG.), down 0.74% to 832.75p, and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), down 0.65% to 2352p.

A string of financial sector companies featured further down the fallers' board, among them Prudential (PRU), Standard Life (SL.), Legal & General (LG.), Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) and HSBC (HSBA).


Geophysical data specialist Getech (GTC:AIM) fell 14.95% to 41.25p as it warned pretax profit would be 'significantly below expectations.'

Sports and leisure products distributor Tandem (TND:AIM) accelerated 11.32% to 118p on a positive trading update. Chairman Mervyn Keene said sales were 26% higher in the 22 weeks to end-May, boosted by strong sales across its bicycle, sports product and toy ranges.

Infection control specialist Tristel (TSTL:AIM) leaped 17.05% to 75.5p on raising expectations for the year to July. Its pretax profits are expected to be at least £1.75m thanks to improving margins and rising revenues from new markets.

Kazakh oil producer Max Petroleum (MXP:AIM) gained 36.23% to 1.41p on a successful result from the ZMA-E7 development well on its Zhana Makat field. The shares remain a long way short of their 52-week high of 4.34p with the sell-off prompted by a lack of funds to pursue exploration activities.

CML Microsystems (CML) posted pretax profits of £5.79m for the year to end-March, up 6%. The group, which designs, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor products, primarily for the global communication and data storage, said revenues fell slightly to £24.39m from £24.65m. Its shares down 22.33% to 417.5p.

Greka Engineering & Technology's (GEL) revenues fell by 29% to $3.78m in the year to the end of December and losses rose to $1.9m from $1.4m. Total assets decreased by 1.3% to US$42.7m year on year. Its shares followed suit, down 16.85% to 3.43p.


UK industrial production rose 0.4% in April, as expected and from an upwardly revised gain of 0.1% in March, Office for National Statistics data showed. It was the third consecutive monthly rise.

Meantime, UK manufacturing production rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in April, in line with expectations and from a 0.5% rise in March, the ONS data showed.

The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for May shows UK retail sales were up 0.5% on a like-for-like basis from May 2013, when they had increased 1.8% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 2.0%, against a 3.4% rise in May 2013.

Clothing was the best performing category, reporting its highest growth since December 2011, while Food was the lowest, reporting a decline in total terms.

The 3-month average year-on-year change for Food was -0.2% in total, turning negative for the first time since our record began in 2008, excluding Easter distortions.


A decent performance from Chef & Brewer-to-Fayre & Square owner Spirit Pub Company (SPRT) sent its share price up 2.09% to 79.63p. Like-for-like sales from its managed pubs rose 6% in the 12 weeks to 24 May. It continued to roll out the steakhouse-style pub format Flaming Grill through a mix of buying new sites and converting existing pubs in its estate.

Tough times continue for IT services group Phoenix IT (PNX), the shares falling 2.66% to 91.5p, although new CEO Steve Vaughan has only recently taken control. Revenues and profits declined although net debt has been cut from £71m to £56 m after a recent cash call.

Speech recognition technology specialist Eckoh (ECK:AIM) rallied 2.78% to 46.25p, their highest since the dot com bust of 2000, after another solid set of FY figures. Organic revenues rose 16% for the year to £14m while cash generation was also very decent. The company has also secured a patent for its CardGuard digital payments technology.

TETRA communications opportunities were starting to emerge for technology specialist Sepura (SEPU), helping drive a 19% increase in operating profits for the year to March. The shares respond by rising 3.06% to 143.25p.

Carclo (CAR) slipped 0.3% to 124.13p, possibly on profit taking, after the technology-led plastics group beats forecasts with FY results, mainly driven by strength in LED systems.

British lifestyle brand Ted Baker (TED) eased 2.01% to 1978.5p -- profit takers snatching earlier gains -- as a better-than-expected trading statement triggers forecast upgrades. Against tough comparatives, retail sales grew 15.8% and wholesale revenues 25.2% over the 19 weeks to 7 June, as Ted made positive progress in new and established markets and delivered a 48.1% surge in online sales.

Gift voucher and prepaid gift card business Park (PKG:AIM), the Birkenhead-based group known for its Christmas hampers, perked up 1.92% to 53p. Though FY results to March showed lower profits of £9.4m (2013: £9.5 m), CEO Chris Houghton cheered with the news the current year has started well with consumer confidence rising and Christmas 2014 orders running 10% ahead.

Gas meter specialist Energy Assets (EAS) added 5.23% to 342p as the market applauded FY results. Pretax profit more than doubled to £6m. Cash generated from operations rises by 58% to £14.5m, yet there's still no dividend. The companuy needs the money to invest in more meters which it rents to utility providers. Effectively it is laying the ground work for what should become a lucrative recurring revenue stream.

Alecto Minerals (ALO:AIM) shrugged off 17%-plus gains to be up a more modest 5.88% at 0.9p on an exploration update for its Kossanto project in Mali. There's a few interesting drill holes at high gold grades but the share price reaction looks a bit excessive given the general trend is low grade material which wouldn’t support a commercial gold mine at current prices.

Cancer therapy developer ValiRx (VAL:AIM) gained 1.49% to 0.34p on applying to extend the assessment of its anti-cancer therapeutic, VAL201, to the human trial stage.

The upward momentum behind Pressure Technologies (PRES:AIM) resumed as the company reported 59% growth in its order book at the interim stage. This outweighs a modest dip in pretax profit and the shares advanced 1.55% to 655p.

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