- FTSE indices wobbled their way to a positive close as financials, along with some miners, drinks outfits and pharmas, outweighed a band of falling supermarkets and property stocks. Wall St opened moderately higher after a raft of data, and Europe closed on a positive note.

FTSE 100 ended up 53.01 points, or 0.87%, to 6137.6. FTSE 250 rose 36.15, or 0.21%, to 16,961.8. Both have been range-bound since late August. At 4.44pm, crude was up less than 1%. Gold was about $1104/oz, and copper about $242/lb. Industrial metals futures were mostly down.

Weir Group (WEIR) led blue chips higher with a rise of 4.85% to 1298p, with ARM (ARM) following and up 3.43% to 980.5p. Beverage specialist SABMiller (SAB) gained 2.76% to 3014.5p, with rising Diageo (DGE) some distance behind.

Financials dominated the winners' ladder. Aviva (AV.) gained 2.62% to 474.3p to lead insurers, while Standard Chartered (STAN) piloted banks with its 2.55% surge to 721.2p. Experian (EXPN) rose 1.74% to 1053p, St James's Place (STJ) added 1.73% to 884p and 3i (III) gained 1.47% to 476.4p.

Among roughly 30 blue chips falling were retail and property. Kingfisher (KGF) fell 2.5% to 351.3p as its H1 statutory sales and pretax profit ebbed. In supermarkets Tesco (TSCO) captained with a 0.81% stumble to 177p. House builders and commercial property eased, respectively, behind Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and Land Securities (LAND).


Mosman Oil & Gas (MSMN) leaped 28.92% to 8.38p 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.

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 19.24% to 3.13p.

Distil (DIS), owner of several premium drinks brands, said overall sales volumes and revenues were up 26% and 76% respectively on the year. DIS rose 20% to 0.9p. Hydrogen (HYDG) slumped 16.04% to 44.5p 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.


Stateside, retail sales rose to $447.7bn in August, up 0.2% from July and up 2.2% on the year, US Department of Commerce said. Core retail sales, which excludes motor vehicles and parts, gained 0.1% in August.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York's latest Empire State Index remained well below zero at -14.7 in September, against -14.9 in August. Meantime, US industrial production fell 0.4% in August, following a 0.9% rise in July, the US Federal Reserve said.

Capacity utilisation for the US industrial sector fell 0.4 percentage point in August to 77.6%, US Federal Reserve said. Meantime, US business inventories rose to an estimated $1,328.0bn in July, up 0.1% from June but down 2.7% on July 2014, the US Department of Commerce said today.

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.


CentralNic (CNIC), down 12.24% to 64.5p, booked an H1 after-tax profit of £287,000, against a loss of £599,000 last time. Central Rand Gold (CRND), up 12.12% to 9.25p, 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 10.34% to 18.38p, 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 6.25% to 4.25p despite extending H1 losses. Revenue was lower but Vipera investors seemed pleased with progress elsewhere.

Sareum (SAR) rallied 8.16% to 0.27p 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.

Gulf Keystone (GKP) rose 5.22% to 30.25p after it announced total commercial output from the Shaikan field, Iraq, has surpassed 15m barrels with current daily average production of more than 40,000 barrels of oil gross.

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 2.53% to 101.5p, 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).

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