StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices nose-dived through the afternoon, the blue-chip ladder down more than 2%, as jittery investors punished supermarkets, resources and a string of others sectors, reportedly in favour of safe-haven assets such as bonds and gold. Wall St was lower.

At the close, FTSE 100 was down 142.68 points, or 2.14%, to 6529.47, a level last seen early November. FTSE 250 fell 238.19, or 1.49%, to 15,714.3. The list of FTSE 350 indices was awash with the red of falling sectors, those for food and drug retailers, pharma firms and forestry & paper down the most.

Tesco (TSCO) was the worst top-100 performer, is shares slashed 6.63% to 174.88p after it said FY group trading profit would be under £1.4bn. Sector pals Sainsbury (SBRY) and Morrison (MRW) were hurting. M&S (MKS) fell 1.39% to 476.8p on news its Castle Donington distribution centre was unable to cope with a glut of Black-Friday orders.

Intertek (ITRK) plunged 6% to 2176p after it was downgraded by Credit Suisse, while G4S (GFS) was a rare riser, up 2.12% to 279.8p after the brokerage upgraded it. Banks were piloted down by Barclays (BARC), off 3.5% to 238.5p. Shire (SHP), off 5.23% to 4335p, led pharmas lower. Insurers and utility stocks were down, too.

Resources issues were down, but did not attract the same attention as supermarkets. Sliding oil stocks were led lower by Petrofac (PFC) and Wood Group (WG.) as concerns about the future price of crude weighed, while downward movers among the miners featured Anglo American (AAL) and Lonmin (LMI) on concerns about metals consumer China's economy.

BIGGER MOVERS

DQ Entertainment (DQE) gained 22.67% to 11.5p on announcing a $50m convertible bond issue to fund the development of more than 20 intellectual properties and co-productions over the next two years. The bonds have a coupon of 13%.

OMG (OMG) rose 18.87% to 31.5p on acquisition-boosted FY results and a strategy reverse for its wearable camera app, Autographer, to a pure IP supply operation.

Fitbug (FITB) fell 23.53% to 8.13p after raising £3.5m in a placing to scale up the sales and marketing of its Orb fitness tracker and the Kiqplan digital health coaching platform. CEO Malcolm Fried is to step down at the end of the year.

Iomart (IOM) crashed 21.32% to 179p despite robust H1 growth. For the first time in years the company missed revenue expectations, although this may be in part down the aborted Host Europe takeover approach a few months ago.

Kibo Mining (KIBO) rose 17.45% to 8.75p after expressing confidence in its Rukwa Coal to Power Project (RCPP). A report estimated annual coal sale revenues at $39m-$43m, while net present value range was estimated at $116m-$141m.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Stateside, total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $542.0bn at end-October, up 0.4% from the revised September level and up 6.8% from October 2013.

US job openings at end-October totalled 4.8m, up on the 4.7m in September, data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed.

Back in Blighty, British Retail Consortium said total UK retail spending was 2.2% higher in November on the year, and up from annual growth of 1.4% in the 12 months to end-October. Like-for-like basis retail sales improved 0.9% in the year to end November.

UK manufacturing production fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in October, official data showed. A 0.2% rise was expected. UK industrial production contracted 0.1% in October, against an increase of 0.6% previously and expectations for growth of 0.3%.

Germany's trade balance came in at an above-forecast 20.6bn in October, from the previous month's 18.5bn euros. France's trade deficit fell to a worse-than-forecast 4.61bn euros in October, from September's deficit of 4.72bn.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

ASOS' (ASC) Q1 retail sales grew a disappointing 8% to £246.3m. September and October were challenging months as it completed an automation programme, but sales had since gained momentum. ASOS reversed earlier softness to be up 2.29% to 2433.5p.

Henry Boot (BHY), up 10.32% to 201.88p, has confirmed two strategic land sales have been completed. It anticipated FY trading result would be materially ahead of consensus. Meantime, Victrex (VCT) beat forecasts with a 9% rise in annual profits and said it would return £43m to shareholders as part of a special dividend. Its shares rose 7.59% to 2005.5p.

NetDimensions (NETD) has signed a new products and services contract with one of the world's largest manufacturing groups. First-year invoiced sales for the Europe-headquartered client are expected to be in excess of 1m euros. Its shares rose 4.71% to 72.25p.

Spectra Systems (SPSY) has received a notice of allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office for its patents on the use of supercritical fluids for cleaning and decontaminating banknotes in circulation. Its shares rose 5.71% to 18.5p.



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