StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices shrugged off tepid early gains to be in negative territory midday, this as miners and supermarkets entrenched their early losses on, respectively, tapering metals prices and rivalry worries. Europe was mixed.

To noon, FTSE 100 was down 23.34 points, or 0.38%, to 6061.25. FTSE 250 was down 66.95, or 0.4%, to 16,858.7. Both continued their somewhat volatile sideways trade from late August. At 11.46am, crude was up less than 1%. Gold was around $1105/oz and copper was about $239/lb. Industrial metals futures were mostly down more than 1%.

Glencore (GLEN) cinched the wooden spoon with a 4.5% tumble to 122.15p, with Fresnillo (FRES), off 2.03% to 579.5p. Further back were Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Billiton (BLT) and Randgold (RRS). Elsewhere among resources-linked stocks, utility outfits tapered ahead of US Federal Open Market Committee's statement on Thursday night.

Supermarkets queued up behind Morrison's (MRW) fall of 2.41% to 154p, among them Tesco (TSCO), down 2.13% to 174.65p, and Sainsbury (SBRY), off 2.33% to 224.25p. Outside the top 100, Ocado (OCDO) fell 0.52% to 314.25p despite improved Q3 metrics.

Several retailers also trended lower. Kingfisher's (KGF) fell 2.64% to 350.8p as its H1 statutory sales and pretax profit ebbed, although its 'ONE' plan was progressing. Among other sectors losing traction were commercial property, house builders, insurers and tobacco.

ARM Holdings (ARM) led a posse of about 45 blue chips rising with its 1.98% to 966.75p, but thereafter gains among others quickly fell off. Experian (EXPN) rose 1.11% to 1046.5p. Banks put in a solid showing with Barclays (BARC) pathfinding and up 0.75% to 256.4p, followed by HSBC (HSBA), up 0.75% to 504.55p.

BIGGER MOVERS

Teathers Financial (TEA) investee company Teathers Financial Software Ltd has signed its first broker licence agreement with FCA-regulated Shard Capital Partners to launch the first crowd-equity App powered by its technology platform. TEA rose 23.81% to 3.25p.

Mosman Oil & Gas (MSMN) leaped 21.23% to 7.88p as it signs an agreement regarding its proposed acquisition of an up to 70% interest in the South Taranaki Energy Project (STEP) assets in New Zealand by selling a 2% royalty to Canadian based Ridge Royaltyfor NZ$4m.

Hydrogen (HYDG) slumped 19.81% to 42.5p as it reported H1 net income down 31% at £10.1m. The sustained low oil price saw oil and gas revenues plunge 62% to £1.7 million.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Euro zone's trade surplus grew for a second consecutive month in July and beat market forecasts. The seasonally adjusted balance rose to 22.4bn euros, from 21.9bn euros in June. A print of 21.4bn euros was expected.

Meantime, Germans became increasingly pessimistic about their nation's economic wellbeing. The ZEW institute's economic sentiment index dropped to 12.1 for September, from 25.0 in August, and against forecasts for 18.3.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Sareum (SAR) rallied 14.29% to 0.28p as it announced positive patent office news in the US and Europe. Patents will be granted for inventions associated with its Aurora+FLT3 Kinase Inhibitor Programme.

CentralNic (CNIC), down 14.29% to 63p, booked an H1 after-tax profit of £287,000, against a loss of £599,000 last time. Central Rand Gold (CRND), up 15.15 to 9.5p, has posted an H1 pretax loss of $1.2m, down from $2.8m a year ago. Revenue and production costs were lower.

Eden Research (EDEN), down 11.56% to 18.13p, saw its H1 revenues surge to £160,000, from £18,000, while pretax loss narrowed to £719,000, from a loss of £1.3m. Vipera (VIP) jumped 9.5% to 4.38p despite extending H1 losses. Revenue was lower but Vipera investors seemed pleased with progress elsewhere.

Northacre (NTA), down 3.39% to 57p, swung to an H1 pretax loss of £0.35m, from a profit of £13,000. Revenue was £1.99m, from £3.12m. NetScientific (NSCI), down 2.39% to 163.5p, said portfolio company Vortex BioSciences has been granted a key US patent on its core technology.

Gateley (GTLY), up 3.03% to 102p, has posted a FY adjusted pro-forma pretax profit of £9.8m, up 32.4% on last time. Revenue gained 11.5% to £60.9m. Pro-forma total dividend yield was up 35% to 5.4%, from 4%.

Other stocks in the news included K3 Business Technology (KBT), PowerHouse (PHE), IQE (IQE), Focusrite (TUNE), Panther Securities (PNS), Porvair (PRV), Global Market (GMC), Parity Group (PTY), Bango (BGO) and Rockhopper (RKH). Story provided by StockMarketWire.com