- FTSE indices trudged lower with resources ballast after Wall St fell overnight. Asia was mixed, but European stock ladders retreated on worries about the latest twist in the ECB-Greece saga. BT's (BT.A) £12.5bn deal to buy EE was news of the day.

Just after the open, FTSE 100 was down 41.87 points, or 0.61%, to 6818.15. FTSE 250 was down 59.37, or 0.36%, to 16,512.3. UK investors are looking to Bank of England's interest rate call at noon. At 8.34am, WTI crude was down 1.42% to $47.76/bbl. Brent was down 1.57% to 53.31/bbl.

BT's (BT.A) shares rose 2.71% to 434.45p on the cash and shares deal. Vodafone (VOD) lost 0.8% to 234.6p on confirming its FY EBITDA guidance was £11.6bn-£11.9bn. Smith & Nephew (SN.) rose 0.26% to 1171p as FY profits slipped on higher revenue, while pharma pal AstraZeneca (AZN) fell 2.79% to 4557.25p on in-line FY results.

Weir Group (WEIR) led blue chips down with a fall of 3.37% to 1749p. Oil stocks traced crude lower with BG (BG.) down 2.32% to 910.4p, while Tullow Oil (TLW) shed 2.18% to 387.25p. BP (BP.) and Shell (RDSA) followed. Miners copied Glencore (GLEN), off 2.45% to 260.45p lower, but were generally behind the southbound oily pace.

Supermarkets were out in the cold behind Sainsbury's (SBRY) fall of 1.12% to 263.7p, while banks slipstreamed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), off 1.64% to 374.55p, and insurers trailed Admiral (ADM), which was 0.61% lower to 1464p. A few utilities were notable among blue-chip risers, but otherwise the palette was broad.


European Central Bank (ECB) has tightened the screws on Greece by restricting financing to its banks. ECB would no longer accept Greek government bonds as collateral for lending money to commercial banks, making their access to cash more expensive.

Greece has hoped to push through a debt swaps deal in exchange for a new wave of growth-linked bonds rather than seeking a 315bn euros foreign debt write-off.


Pressure Technologies (PRES), down 36.24% to 237.5p, considers expectations for the FY should be revised down as part of a prudent response to market conditions that include weaker oil prices. It had launched a group-wide review of prospects.

West African Minerals (WAFM), up 17.01% to 3.13p, said its maiden Mineral Resource Estimate at the Sanaga license, Cameroon, was 82.9 Mt at 32.1% Fe at a 25% Fe cut-off grade.

Premier Farnell (PFL) sees H2 operating margin to be down 1 percentage point on the year, with FY operating profit at £86m-£88m. It said if current forex rates prevail in 2015/16 it would take a hit of about £2m on FY reported profit. It fell 9.56% to 153.2p.

Carlco (CAR) rose 11.35% to 111.63p on seeing its FY underlying performance ahead of previous views. Environmental Recycling Technologies (ENRT) rose 11.58% to 0.53p on granting a non-exclusive licence for its Powder Impression Moulding process to Earth Enterprises Inc.

InfraStrata (INFA) fell 13.05% to 4.13p on plans to raise £2.1m via a placing and subscription of 52.5m new shares at 4p each.


McBride (MCB) has improved its H1 pretax profit by 97.3% to £7.3m, from £3.7m. Revenue slipped, but its FY outlook remained unchanged. It rose 5.75% to 92p.

Avanti Communications (AVN), up 6.35% to 240.13p, booked an H1 pretax loss of $48.1m, from a loss of $41.8m. Revenue rose. This was in line with views despite forex headwinds. It plans to raise £60.6m to secure full financing for the HYLAS 4 satellite.

easyJet's (EZJ) passenger figures were basically flat in January. It carried 4,022,253 in January, from 4,021,678 a year ago. Load factor at 85.1%, down 0.3 percentage point. Its shares slipped 1.01% to 1760p.

Grainger (GRI), down 1.11% to 204.4p, has seen positive trading conditions in the new financial year, with robust sales, good rent increases achieved and fee levels in line with expectations.

Dairy Crest (DCG) has reported a robust performance from its cheese and spreads businesses in the nine months to end-December in a difficult environment. Its dairies business has continued to make losses. Its shares fell 0.19% to 496.65p. Story provided by