StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices were lower at the close, camped just below opening levels, after Q3 UK gross domestic product data (GDP) and a tepid start to Wall St failed to vault them into positive territory.

At the close, the FTSE 100 was down 30.42 points, or 0.47%, to 6388.73, and the FTSE 250 was down 46.44 points, or 0.31%, to 15,089.5. UK preliminary GDP grew 0.7% in Q3, from 0.9% in Q2. It is the seventh end-on-end quarter of UK GDP growth.

Resources stocks acted as a brake. Cairn Energy (CNE) fell 3.73% to 152.1p, while Wood Group (WG.) eased 3.19% to 668p. Anglo American (AAL) led miners with a fall of 2.39% to 1308p, followed by BHP Billiton (BLT), down 1.9% to 1627p.

Publishing and education group Pearson (PSON) fell 2.57% to 1139p after revealing it was losing CFO Robin Freestone. It reiterated its FY profit guidance. Telco BT (BT.A), down 1.75% to 370p, softened as the market anticipated its H1 numbers next week.

Otherwise the fallers' board was laden with retailers. Tesco (TSCO) fell 1.32% to 168.75p and Next (NXT) lost 1.89% to 6500p. On the plus side, several insurers and pharmaceutical stocks enjoyed limited upside.

BIGGER MOVERS

Construction group Morgan Sindall (MGNS) was one of London’s biggest fallers today, plunging 12.81% to 687.5p as warned on profits as the London housebuilding market slowed. Some building projects have been delayed and projected costs are totting up to more than planned.

4imprint Group (FOUR) reported continued strong organic growth in Q3 to end-September. Revenue was £66.13m, 16% ahead of last year. Year-to-date revenue was £181.79m, 15% ahead of last year. Its shares rose 14.1% to 785p.

Testing kit-maker Omega Diagnostics (ODX) plummeted 16.34% to 16p as it warned sales would be lower than expected this year. The company blamed disruption of moving to larger batch manufacturing.

Bulmers-to-Magners cider maker C&C (CCR) slumped 10.19% to 3.53p as the group confirms rejected approach for pubs group Spirit (SPRT). Investors are worried that the company could get drawn into an expensive takeover battle with rival Greene King (GNK).

UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), Doriemus (DOR), Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA), Solo Oil (SOLO), and Stellar Resources (STG) were all down 24.88%-36.5%, albeit off low bases, despite confirming an oil discovery at the Horse Hill-1 well in the Weald Basin.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Stateside, sales of new single-family houses in September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 467,000, estimates released jointly by the US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed.

Back in Blighty, the UK index of services rose 0.8% in September, data showed, against 1% previously and the 0.9% expected by the market.

In Europe, the GfK German Consumer Climate index rose to 8.5 heading into November, from a revised 8.4 in October. A print of 8.1 had been anticipated. Meantime, Italy's retail sales eased 3.1% on the year in August, after a 1.7% drop in July.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

John Lewis of Hungerford (JLH), up 7.41% to 1.45p, expects August-year sales to be £7.4m, from £6.6m. It said the increase reflected a positive underlying trading performance coupled with contributions from the new Chiswick showroom and the new bedroom range.

A mild warning from industrial kit maker Spectris (SXS) was ignored by the market, more pleased that trading was not as bad as perhaps feared. The shares rallied 4.26% to 1715p despite an ongoing slump in capex investment globally squeezing the group.

Jordanian drug-maker Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) fell 4.58% to 1813p after receiving a slap on the wrist from the US regulator over environmental monitoring failings in Portugal.

Several travel stocks came under Ebola pressure. TUI Travel (TT.) and Intercontinental Hotels (IHG) were lower. Health product distributors Essentra (ESNT) and Diploma (DPLM) gained on chatter they may benefit from spending on drugs and medical equipment to combat Ebola.



Story provided by StockMarketWire.com