- FTSE indices closed mixed today with financial, resources and a few pharmaceutical stocks acting as ballast, while Wall St was mixed in early deals.

At 5 p.m., the FTSE 100 was down 13.83 points, or 0.2%, to 6743.94, while the FTSE 250 was up 42.1 points, or 0.27%, to 15,723.6.

In the US, the Dow fell 10 points to 16,841 the Nasdaq gained 9 points to 4407 and the S&P 500 added a point to 1962. In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 67 points at 15,162, and the Hang Seng fell 31 points to 13,191.

International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) led a squadron of blue-chip stocks lower, falling 3.47% to 370.5p.

Among financial issues on the fall were Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.), down 1.86% to 1238.5p, Barclays (BARC), down 1.5% to 212.8p, Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY), down 1.46% to 74.25p, and RSA Insurance (RSA) down 1.1% to 474.8p.

Resources stocks studded the blue-chip fallers' board. BHP Billiton (BLT) fell 1.25% to 1889.5p, Rio Tinto (RIO) off 0.46% to 3108.5p, Randgold Resources (RRS) down 0.45% to 4873p, and Petrofac (PFC) slipping 0.41% to 1203p.

Pharmaceutical giants Astrazeneca (AZN), down 0.68% to 4340.5p, and Glaxosmithkline (GSK), down 0.6% to 1564p, were in the mix, followed by Shire (SHP), flat at 4570p.

Commercial property companies also figured on the fallers' board.


Cancer-focused biotech Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS:AIM) jumped 16.96% to 49.13p on licensing 20 stem cell markers from the FIRC Institute for Molecular Oncology and the European Institute of Oncology to develop a breast cancer diagnostic.

Sports Direct International (SPD) notes recent trade speculation regarding OFFICE, one of the UK's leading specialist footwear retailers. Notwithstanding recent speculation, Sports Direct confirms that it is not considering an offer to acquire OFFICE. Sports Direct shares fell 2.35% to 706.75p.

Meantime, horticultural specialist William Sinclair (SNCL) reported a loss before exceptional items and tax £1.8m (2013: £1.7m) on revenue of £21.8m (2013: £20.4m) in the half-year to end-March. Bolton Fell compensation sum settled at £21.25m. Its shares rose 28.57% to 67.5p.

Roxi Petroleum (RXP) said drilling has resumed and by Friday, 27 June 2014 reached a depth of 4,236 meters. The well's principal target is the Carboniferous formation at 4,390 meters with a subsidiary target in the Permian formation at 4,120 meters. To date Roxi has yet to find indications of oil from the subsidiary target horizon. Roxi's shares fell 19.05% to 4.25p.

Helius Energy (HEGY), down 17.65% to 7p, booked a pre-tax loss of £674,000 for the six months to the end of March, compared with a loss of £699,000 for the corresponding period in the previous year.


US pending home sales rose sharply in May, with lower mortgage rates and increased inventory accelerating the market, National Association of Realtors' data showed. All four regions of the country saw increases in pending sales, with the Northeast and West experiencing the largest gains.

The Chicago Institue for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 62.6 in June - down from 65.5 in May and below the forecast of 63.2.

Bank of England said total net lending to individuals rose £2.7bn in May, ahead of forecasts for £2.5bn and from £2.4bn in April.

M4 Money Supply fell 0.1% in May, from a 0.2% fall in April. The market had expected a 0.2% rise.

The BoE report also revealed the number of final mortgage approvals eased to 61,700 in May, from 62,800 in April. Expectations were for a reading of 62,000.


European newspaper publisher Mecom (MEC) jumped 32.72% to 152.63p after a receiving a takeover offer from rival De Persgroep Publishing. The 155p cash per share offer is priced at a 35% premium to last Friday’s closing price.

Filtered water specialist Waterlogic (WTL:AIM) rose 9.43% to 116p after effectively putting itself up for sale following an unsolicited approach from one of its subsidiaries. A strategic review is now underway to work out the best way to generate value for shareholders, be it a full or partial sale of the business.

Interims from oil investment firm TXO (TXO:AIM) prompted a 6.67% dive in the shares to 0.21p as post-tax losses widen from $807,642 to $861,819, in line with internal expectations. The results did not cover the first sale of reprocessed waste oil by portfolio holding Grand Bahama Group.

Postal services software supplier Escher Group (ESCH:AIM) added 2.5% to 305p as it won a Middle East contract with Emirates Post Group. No financial details were announced but the deal will run for five years.

Driver monitoring kit supplier Seeing Machines (SEE:AIM) confirmed revenues to the year to end June will be about 40% up on the A$12.7m earned in 2013. Investors focused on detailed growth investment plans and how they might hit profits. The shares rose 4.35% to 6p.

A 49% FY revenues jump and reduced losses sparked Daily Internet (DAIP:AIM) investors into action, the shares adding almost 6.67% to 2p.

Drug developer Vernalis (VER:AIM) slipped 1.95% to 31.5p as investors take profits on the submission of its cough cold treatment to US regulator, the Food & Drug Administration.

Bronchial disease specialist Vectura (VEC) improved 2.9% to 133p on licensing its VR506 asthma treatment to an unnamed US company. Vectura receives an initial $4m and up to $8m in milestone payments, as well as royalties.

Zotefoams (ZTF) rose 1.92% to 238.5p after the specialist foam producer's trading update appraises investors of high single-digit percentage volume growth in its Polyolefin business. The Croydon-based company also enjoying strong demand in its high-performance products (HPP) division, with growth approaching 50% in constant currency.

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