StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices plummeted through the afternoon as nervy investors in the UK, Europe and on Wall St questioned whether a viable solution will be found to the Greece-debt soap. Miners were markedly lower on softer metals prices, with financial and retail stocks easing, too.

FTSE 100 closed down 103.47 points, or 1.58%, to 6432.21. FTSE 250 lost 230.35, or 1.32%, to 17,212.9. Greece turned up at its last-ditch debt talks today empty handed, restating a plan submitted in June. Wall St was much lower. Germany's DAX fell 1.93%. France's CAC 40 lost 2.2%.

Glencore (GLEN) led blue chips down with a 7.04% slide to 230.18p as metals prices slumped, particularly copper and nickel. Anglo American (AAL) dropped 5.46% to 835p and Fresnillo (FRES) fell 4.44% to 656.5p. More than 30 blue chips shed 2% or more.

At 4.47pm, WTI crude was down 1.66% and Brent was off 0.81%. BP (BP.) retreated 2.31% to 419.58p. House builders were also on the back foot behind Taylor Wimpey (TW.), off 2.9% to 185.65p. Also lower were a slew of financials including Standard Life (SL.), RBS (RBS), Barclays (BARC) and Standard Chartered (STAN), all down 2.51%-3.16%.

Marks & Spencer (MKS), down 2.15% to 535.25p, said all its FY guidance remains unhanged. Its food and online performances were strong, but UK General Merchandise booked a 0.4% like-for-like dip in sales. Sainsbury (SBRY), Morrisons (MRW) and Tesco (TSCO) suffered in sympathy. Several other retail specialists also lost traction. Less than 10 blue chips made gains.

BIGGER MOVERS

Formation Group (FRM), up 64.38% to 8.63p, noted the rise in its share price. It has been in talks for some time regarding a commercial agreement on a development site and hopes to be in a position to sign a definitive agreement imminently.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) fell 20.22% to 18.25p on delays to launching a new HIV-testing product. Further development is needed to improve the device's stability.

iEnergizer (IBPO), down 14.55% to 23.5p, has raised £2.12m via a placing of 15.12m new shares with EICR Cyprus Ltd at 14p each.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Stateside, the US trade deficit rose to $41.9bn in May, up $1.2bn from a revised $40.7bn in April, US Bureau of Economic Analysis said. May exports were $188.6bn, $1.5bn less than April, while May imports were $230.5bn, $0.3bn less than in April.

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index maintained its June reading of 48.1 in the July survey. The index is 0.2 points above its 12-month average of 47.9. Meantime, the number of US job openings was little changed at 5.4m on the last business day of May, the highest since the series began in December 2000, US Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

UK industrial output rose 0.4% in May, ahead of forecasts for a fall of 0.2%, data from Office for National Statistics showed. Meantime, UK manufacturing production fell 0.6% in May, the data showed, ahead of forecasts for a 0.1% rise.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Eagle Eye (EYE) rose 9.07% to 216.5p as it won a multi-year contract with Sainsbury’s (SBRY) and talked confidently about its future prospects and strategic progress. Solid State (SOLI), down 5.83% to 845p on profit taking, after hiking its FY pretax profit 40%, and lifting its payout to 12p, from 8.5p.

SerVision (SEV) jumped 6.25% to 4.25p as it bagged a CCTV contract at Gatwick Airport. The deal is worth and initial £20,000. Robert Walters (RWA) gained 6.06% to 437.75p after a Q2 trading update showed net fee income grew 11% on the year and 15% at constant currencies. UK NFI was up 19% driven by financial services.

Cyan Holdings (CYAN), down 2.7% to 0.18p, said H1 trading was in line with management views. ASOS (ASC) lost 5.04% to 3657p despite a strong trading statement for the four months to June. Retail sales were up 20% to £386m, with a better-than-expected recovery in gross margins.

Avacta (AVCT) rose 3.67% to 1.27p on synthetic antibodies sales in the year to end-July would be at least in line with market views. Wilmington (WIL), up 2.6% to 261.63p, has agreed a $20.6m deal for US healthcare and finance events company Financial Research Associates. Vast Resources (VAST) was down 1.49% to 1.65p as it closed an agreement to nab a 50.1% stake in Sinarom Mining, which owns the Manaila polymetallic mine, Romania, for 1 euro plus debt.

Stagecoach (SGC), down 2.07% to 395.05p, has been told by the Department for Transport that it is ending the discussions with Stagecoach South Western Trains Ltd about the direct award of a new rail franchise. DfT will be inviting tenders for a new long-term franchise.

Other stocks in the news included Howden Joinery Group (HWDN), McBride (MCB), Interserve (IRV), Gama Aviation (GMAA), Young & Co.'s Brewery (YNGA), Servelec (SERV), Renewable Energy Generation (WIND), DekelOil Public (DKL), Connect Group (CNCT), Cineworld (CINE), Ultra Electronics (ULE) and Somero Enterprises (SOM).




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