- FTSE indices were mauled to midday, in keeping with Europe's falls of more than 2%, as China's currency devaluation jolted industrial metals prices lower and put miners and other commodity-price sensitive stocks under the cosh. Supermarkets and consumer goods outfits were also punished, as were tobacco and banks.

To noon, FTSE 100 was down 82.84 points, or 1.24%, to 6581.7. FTSE 250 was down 229.69, or 1.3%, to 17,437.3. At 11.36am, safe-haven gold was up 0.75% to $1116. Three-month industrial metals contracts fell 2% or more. FTSE 350 indices for industrial metals, household and personal goods and food and drug retailers fell more than 2%.

Glencore (GLEN) was ravaged 5.32% lower to 180.83p, with sector pals Rio Tinto (RIO), Anglo American (AAL) and BHP Billiton (BLT) all down 1.27%-1.52%. In the consumer goods sphere, Unilever (ULVR) shed 3.81% to 2801p thanks to a broker downgrade on it and Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), down 2.85% to 5949.5p. Morrisons (MRW) fell 2.2% to 177.5p and led supermarkets south.

Tobacco stocks went down in a puff of smoke, Imperial Tobacco (IMT) down 1.84% to 3280.5p and British American Tobacco (BATS) exhaling 1.79% to 3706.5p. Asia-facing banks Standard Chartered (STAN), down 2.21% to 887.05p, and HSBC (HSBA), down 1.68% to 567.7p, suffered from China's yuan call. Pharmas and high-street retailers also retreated.

In the news, Balfour Beatty (BBY), up 3.32% to 260.05p, has posted an H1 pretax loss of £150m, up from £58m. Pearson (PSON), down 0.13% to 1171.5p, has agreed to sell its 50% stake in The Economist Group for £469m cash. G4S (GFS), down 0.75% to 264.7p, saw H1 revenue from continuing operations rise 2.8% to £3.285bn, up 4.2%. About 10 blue chips enjoyed gains.


Pure Wafer (PUR), up 25.88% to 160.5p, has disposed of its fire-damaged Swansea, assigned the 99-year lease and settled outstanding obligations under Government funding. It estimates a return of funds resulting from the Swansea insurance settlement of about 140-145p a share.

Active Energy (AEG), down 16% to 5.25p, noted in-line H1 production and shipping, and said it anticipates group results for the period will be broadly be in line with its views. Kibo Mining (KIBO), up 15.15% to 4.75p, is delighted with the mining pre-feasibility study for the results from the Mbeya coal to power project, which 'have surpassed all expectations'.

Vmoto (VMT), up 12.5% to 20.25p, has hiked its H1 net profit after tax by 379% to $1.0m. Revenue and total units sold increased. It is 'well placed to achieve its previous guidance for FY15 of $5m to $7m NPAT.'

Utilitywise (UTW), down 11.96% to 193.25p, said revenue for the year to July 31 is seen slightly ahead of market views at about £69m, up about 42% on the year. It sees EBITDA a jot below market views.


Shanta Gold (SHG), down 8.8% to 5.13p, has provided an exploration update on its resource development program at the New Luika Gold Mine (NLGM), in Tanzania. NetPlay TV (NPT), down 2.55% to 9.38p, has acquired Otherside Inc for a total of £3.2m.

Tribal (TRB) fell 7.88% to 149p as analysts reduce earnings forecasts following a challenging H1. It suffers from uncertainty surrounding the timing of software deployment and contract completions.

Interserve (IRV) fell 3.96% to 600.75p as it warned on the impact of increases to the minimum wage on its business. The change would shave £10m-£15m from profit in 2016, until contract renewals enabled the firm to reprice its services.

Zoopla (ZPLA) rose 3.83% to 264.05p as it confirmed a return to growth in UK estate agency membership and secures a long-term commitment from CEO and founder Alex Chesterman. SimiGon (SIM) rose 2.44% to 21p as it bagged an additional contract from a leading provider in the small tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) market.

Volution (FAN) added 2.9% to 169.5p as it said financial results are only expected to meet, rather than surpass, expectations. Positive analyst comment helped. Lookers (LOOK), down 1.98% to 160.5p, has booked a strong H1 with pretax profit rising to £39.9m, from £37.7m. Interim dividend rose 10% at 1.07p a share.

Other stocks in the news included Aquarius Platinum (AQP), CLS Holdings (CLI), Volution Group (FAN), Capital & Regional (CAL), LGO (LGO), GoldBridges Global Resources (GBGR), Amara Mining (AMA), Nanoco (NANO), Picton Property Income (PCTN), Centamin (CEY),Tullow Oil (TLW), Tracsis (TRCS) and Zoopla (ZPLA).

Story provided by