- FTSE indices tracked higher on opening with retail, mining, oil and pharmaceutical stocks paving the way. Severn Trent (SVT) was firmly southbound as its FY results disappointed. Wall St and Asian markets booked gains overnight.

Shortly after the open, FTSE 100 was up 33.81 points, or 0.48%, to 7047.28. FTSE 250 added 46.37, or 0.26%, to 18,200.9 and looks set for another record close. Crude prices tiptoed higher. Greek debt talks and Yemen fighting continue. Various central bank bosses give speeches today.

Vodafone (VOD) led blue chips up with a 3.81% surge to 251.75p, several retailers in the frame thereafter behind Dixons Carphone (DC.), up 1.52% to 468.5p. Morrisons (MRW) and Sainsbury (SBRY) trailed. Several pharmas were up behind GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which added 0.72% to 1461p.

Among resources, miners were led up by Anglo American (AAL), gaining 1.06% to 1070.25p, with BHP Billiton (BLT) behind. Oily issues moved higher after BP (BP.), up 0.6% to 460.73p, and Shell (RDSA), up 0.53% to 1995.5p. Various insurers, banks and investment specialists also made lukewarm headway.

There were about 30 blue chips lower in early deals, with BT Group (BT.A) leading and down 0.81% to 455.45p. Severn Trent's (SVT) FY pretax profit fell 53.5% to £148.2m, from a year-earlier profit of £318.9m. Its shares were pushed down 0.66% to 2167.5p.


Tungsten (TUNG), up 25.36% to 87.75p, has successfully placed a total of 21.9m new shares at a price of 80p each to raise £17.5m gross. The hike enjoyed strong institutional support.

Armadale Capital (ACP), up 15.38% to 0.03p, has booked a FY pretax loss of £1.1m, down from £3.1m last time. It said the loss related to expenses incurred developing the Mpokoto gold project.

W Resources (WRES), down 10.34% to 0.26p, has widened its FY pretax loss to £0.64m, from a year-ago loss of £0.25m. Revenue was £0.96m, from nil. Cost of sales and administrative expenses were mostly responsible for the losses.

Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ), down 12.68% to 5.13p, has agreed a loan of up to $4m from CEO Reza Vaziri. It would use the facility for general working capital and has made an initial $2m draw down.


The market is looking to separate speeches today by Bank of England governor Mark Carney, Fed Reserve chair Janet Yellen, the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi and Bank of Japan's Haruhiko Kuroda.


ReNeuron Group (RENE), up 4.98% to 5.38p, said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to its human Retinal Progenitor Cell (hRPC) therapy candidate for retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

Moss Bros (MOSB), up 4.59% to 102.5p, said trading is improving in line with market views. Strong retail sales have underpinned this continued good performance and Hire continues to show positive growth. It is on track to deliver anticipated levels of growth.

Bacanora Minerals (BCN), up 2.37% to 86.5p, said assay results have confirmed the updated mineral resource estimate at the Sonora lithium project, Mexico.

StratMin (STGR), up 2.6% to 5.13p, has narrowed its FY pretax loss to £2.4m, from a loss of £2.5m. Revenue was £0.15m, from £46,000. Administrative expenses comprised most of the losses.

Quintain Estates & Development (QED), up 1.67% top 106.75p, has booked a FY pretax profit of £40.7m, from £4.7m a year ago. Revenue was £57.7m, from £32.6m. The results included a £41.2m surplus on revaluation of investment properties, from £22.4m the prior year.

Other stocks in the news included Mandarin Oriental International (MDO), Segro (SGRO), European Wealth Group (EWG), Close Brothers (CBG), Dragon Oil (DGO), Eland Oil & Gas (ELA) and Tarsus (TRS).

Story provided by