- FTSE indices closed lower as investors profited on last week's record closing highs, with miners faltering on concerns about China's economy. Supermarkets eased ahead of tomorrow's inflation data. Wall St opened on a positive note.

FTSE 100 closed down 25.47 points, or 0.36%, to 7064.3. FTSE 250 faded 45.28, or 0.25%, to 17,829.8. At 4.41pm, WTI and Brent crude prices were mildly firmer. Greece debt, Yemen fighting and Iran nuclear talks dragged on sentiment. The market was assessing China trade data showing exports sank 15% on the year in March.

Miners congregated at the vanguard of the blue-chip losers' board. Traders are concerned about future base metals demand out of China. Lonmin (LMI) sank 3.42% to 125.55p, while BHP Billiton (BLT) slipped 3.25% to 1416p. Antofagasta (ANTO) and Anglo American (AAL) were also lower, with others in the sector down less.

Supermarkets suffered ahead of UK consumer price inflation data out tomorrow. Tesco (TSCO) was worst hit, checking out 2.67% lower at 244.3p. In the orderly queue behind it were Marks & Spencer (MKS), off 1.48% to 567p and Sainsbury (SBRY), off 0.9% to 274.9. Other retailers faded, too, with Burberry (BRBY) and Next (NXT) discounted.

Other sectors lower included consumer goods, tobacco, several insurers and a number of pharmas. Upside winners numbered about 25, oil issues enjoying moderate gains on crude's mild rally. Tullow Oil (TLW) added 2.54% to 339.5p, while Shell (RDSA), Wood Group (WG.) and BG Group (BG.) also rose. A number of banks firmed behind RBS (RBS), up 1.23% to 353.2p.


Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM) tumbled 21.18% to 8.38p on a 12% fall in revenue to £6.35m in 2014, largely due to timing issues for sales of its d2w masterbatch. Adjusted loss per share was 0.23p, from 0.11p a year ago.

Plutus PowerGen (PPG), down 14.58 to 1.02p, says it has 'positively adhered' to all necessary requirements in the process for receiving planning permission at a site in Plymouth. It was responding to a newspaper article circulating on several bulletin boards. Image Scan (IGE) crashed 21.05% to 1.88p as it warned investors to expect substantial H1 losses. The medical kit design minnow blames a slowdown in new orders.

Epistem (EHP) rose 20.75% to 320p on expectations that India's regulator is ready to approve the sale of its tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic in the country. India accounts for a quarter of the $1bn TB diagnostic market. Richland Resources Ltd (RLD), up 25% to 3.75p, said pre-production mining has commenced at the Capricorn Sapphire mine, in Queensland Australia.


ECO Animal Health Group (EAH) rose 16.59% to 239p on expecting FY profits to exceed market forecasts. Argos Resources (ARG) subsidiary Argos Exploration Ltd has entered into a farm-out agreement with Noble Energy Falklands Ltd and Edison International that will allow exploration drilling on its Licence PL001. ARG's shares fell 15% to 6.38p.

Ithaca Energy (IAE), up 8.33% to 48.75p, has announced the successful completion of flow-test operations at the Well 30/6a-A3Y well, which is the fifth and final development well on the Stella field. It achieved a flow rate of over 8000 boepd.

Akers Biosciences (AKR) gained 7.14% to 300p on selling its blood-clotting thrombocytopenia tests in nine additional countries, including Montenegro, Bulgaria and Morocco. Meantime, Carr's (CARR) cultivated a 6.77% gain to 147.88p after reporting another record H1 performance and news of a positive start to H2.

Development Securities (DSC) has announced the acquisition by Cathedral Group of a 3-acre site in Greenwich for £5.3m at a 4.4% initial yield. Its shares fell 5.49% to 232.5p. In other news, SimiGon (SIM), down 5.45% to 26p, has hiked its FY net profit to $1.36m, up 51%.

Kefi Minerals (KEFI) rose 4.65% to 1.13p on news the Ethiopia-focused miner will today receive the licence to start mining at its Tulu Kapi gold project. In other news, Smurfit Kappa (SKG) gained 3.38% to 29.67p on rumours US-based International Paper was mulling a £6bn takeover bid.

Imaginatik (IMTK), up 3.7% to 3.5p, has secured a pair of new contracts. One is with a US-based higher educational institution and the other with a global retail consumer products company. Galasys (GLS), up 7.78% to 24.25p has booked a FY pretax profit of RM11.34m, up 35% on the year. Revenues rose 45% to RM38.62m.

Other stocks in the news included UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG), Ormonde Mining (ORM), Halfords (HFD), Telecity Group (TCY), Greka Drilling (GDL), NetDimensions (NETD), NextEnergy Solar Fund Ltd (NESF), Telit (TCM) and Range Resources (RRL).

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