StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices reversed their early session gains to be down near midday with financial and resources stocks weighing. This followed overnight gains on Wall St and mixed Asian markets.

Near noon, the FTSE 100 was down 11.3 points, or 0.17%, to 6694.97. FTSE 250 was down 20.97 points, or 0.13%, to 15,516.6. Financial stocks featured as sector icon Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) fell 3.5% to 930.25p on news of margin pressure due to increased competition.

Mining stocks were the main ballast. Fresnillo (FRES) fell 3.48% 748.5p, followed by Anglo American (AAL). BHP Billiton (BLT) dipped 2.66% to 1749.75p despite saying it would consider London as one of the destinations where its demerged NewCo business would list.

Supermarkets fell. Sainsbury (SBRY) lost 1.15% to 257.6p. Gaffe-hit Tesco (TSCO) eased 0.75% to 193.43p as chatter had it a parliamentary probe could be launched. However, Sports Direct Int'l (SPD) has lent support by entering a put option agreement with Goldman Sachs with respect to 23m Tesco shares, or 0.28% of the company, on their long-term potential.

Real estate investment trust Hammerson (HMSO) fell 4% to 561p as it invested £180m into a 40% stake of the Highcross shopping centre in Leicester. Elsewhere, some utility and insurance companies also enjoyed mild gains.

BIGGER MOVERS

There was lots of red flags in UK Mail's (UKM) trading update, sending the shares down 13.07% to 491.13p. It said H1 results should 'broadly' meet previous expectations, but added markets have become 'challenging' with a drop in parcel volumes.

Surface Transforms (SCE) has signed a 'game changer' pre-production contract with an international aerospace system supplier for the supply of its carbon ceramic brake discs onto a US military aircraft. Its shares soared 40.39% to 10.88p.

Cellcast (CLTV) said H1 interactive broadcast revenues were down year on year as it saw a continued decline in demand for its services. Nevertheless, operating losses improved and it was seeing benefits from cost restructuring. Its shares rose 22.22% to 1.1p.

Inditherm (IDM) plunged 31.29% to 4.38p as it swung to an H1 pretax loss, with overhead increasing while revenues were broadly unchanged. Gross margin fell to 53%, from 61%.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Euro zone data showed the amount of domestic currency in circulation and deposited in banks in the single-currency bloc rose more-than-expected in August. Euro zone M3 Money Supply rose to 2.0%, from 1.8% in July and against market expectations for a print of 1.9%.

Meantime, loans to the private sector in the euro zone eased on the year in August. The volume of loans to private businesses and households fell by 1.5% in August, from the same month in 2013.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Penna Consulting (PNA), up 6.95% to 138.5p, said the enhanced level of trading it referred to at end-July has continued into August and that in the five months to August 2014 net revenue was 23% higher than last year and pretax profits were 80% higher.

Mitchells & Butlers (MAB), down 5.82% to 382p, said total FY sales growth was 3.8%, with like-for-like sales increasing by 0.6%. Trading in July improved after the World Cup, but in August it was difficult in the pub market due to consumer caution and rainfall.

Car and motorcycle manual publisher Haynes (HYNS) gained 5.88% to 180p as FY results revealed the benefits of a major restructuring programme. Adjusted pretax profits were up £1m year-on-year to £4.2m once exceptional costs associated with the transformation were stripped out.

Investors focused on takeover bluetooth and wireless chips maker CSR (CSR) and US peer Microchip Technology (MCHP:NDQ). CSR's shares rose 7.41% to 782.5p as negotiations were allowed an extension by the UK takeover panel. The deadline has been extended to Oct. 15.


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