StockMarketWire.com - FTSE indices resumed their southerly bent early on with travel-related stocks taking a dive, and a mixed bag of supermarkets, high-street retail, consumer goods outfits and financials providing further ballast. This after a lower Wall St overnight, and a mixed Asian session.

Shortly after the open, FTSE 100 was down 47.25 points, or 0.75%, to 6258.24. FTSE 250 was down 74.77, or 0.44%, to 17,032.1, and may yet fall below the key 17,000 level. At 8.48am, European indices fell. Crude shed 1% or more. Gold and copper were at USD1072/oz and USD203/lb.

Travel-related stocks were on the back foot behind easyJet 9EZJ), off 3.65% to 1586p, against a backcloth of global security concerns. International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) shed 3.08% to 550.5p, while TUI (TUI) fell 1.93% to 1067p and Carnival (CCL) flopped 1.49% to 3427p.

Supermarkets trolleyed south after Marks & Spencer (MKS), off 1.52% to 500.75p, while consumer goods traced Unilever (ULVR), lower 1.58% to 2806p. High-street retail faded behind Dixons Carphone (DC.), tapering 1.12% to 460.6p. B&Q-owner Kingfisher (KGF) eased 0.2% to 344.4p as its total sales fell 2.5% to GBP2.65bn in the 13 weeks to Oct. 31.

Among the roughly 90 blue chips lower were multiple commercial property, house building, utility and financial stocks. Babcock (BAB), up 3.98% to 1045p, led gainers on reporting strong growth in H1 with excellent visibility of future revenues, while Compass (CPG), up 0.05% to 1077.5p, has reported another strong year.

BIGGER MOVERS

Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDH), down 13.89% to 232.5p, has posted an H1 pretax profit of GBP0.8m, from a year-earlier profit of GBP2.8m. Revenue was GBP19.4m, from GBP22.1m. Golden Saint Resources (GSR), down 20% to 0.03p, has raised GBP0.17m via the issue of 680m new shares at 0.025p each. Net proceeds would go to general working capital purposes.

Creston (CRE), down 16.19% to 116.5p, said its H1 revenue rose 8% to to GBP40.3m. Like-for-like revenue was up 1% at GBP37.7m. Headline pretax profit rose 7% to GBP4m. Interim dividend was up 5% to 1.42p a share.

Severfield (SFR), up 13.16% to 64.5p, has improved its H1 pretax profit to GBP3.2m, from GBP1.7m. Revenue was GBP117.1m, from GBP97.4m. It improved interim dividend to 0.5p a share, from nil.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Chamberlin (CMH), down 11.46% to 69.5p, has warned that FY underlying pretax profit would be below last time after its H1 results were hit by a weak euro and a slowdown in some core markets.

Paternoster Resources (PRS), down 8.7% to 0.21p, confirms the purchase of USD0.5m of convertible loan stock in Alecto Minerals in exchange for the issue of 100m new shares in Paternoster.

John Menzies (MNZS), down 4.58% to 365p, said its FY earnings is now expected to be some GBP2m below the board's previous expectations. Overall, its balance sheet remained strong, supported by a relentless focus on cash management actions.

Pets at Home (PETS), down 2.37% to 276.4p, has marginally improved its H1 pretax profit to GBP40.9m, from GBP40.5m. Interim dividend was 2p a share, up 11.1%. Cineworld (CINE), down 2.47% to 522.25p, said total revenues for the 46 weeks to Nov. 19 were up 11.9%. Box office was up 10.7%, retail was up 12.8% and other income was up 16.2%. Q4 had started strongly.

Shaftesbury (SHB), down 1.44% to 906.75p, has hiked its FY EPRA NAV by 21.9% to GBP8.69 a share, from GBP7.13 a share. Final dividend was 6.925p a share, taking the total to 13.75p, up 5.0%. Its portfolio is valued at GBP3.13bn.

Mitchells & Butler (MAB). up 2.16% to 355.5p, has marginally improved its FY pretax profit to GBP126m, from GBP123m. Final dividend was recommended at 5p. Total revenue was GBP2.1bn, up 6.6% on the year and with like-for-like sales growth of 0.8%.

Rockhopper (RKH), down 1.4% to 35.25p, and Falkland Oil & Gas (FOGL), up 3.23% to 9.91p, have agreed a recommended merger. Falkland shareholders would get about 0.2993 Rockhopper shares for each FOGL one they hold. The deal values FOGL at about OGBP57.1m.

Other stocks in the news included Laird (LRD), Ladbrokes (LAD), Satellite Solutions Worldwide (SAT), De La Rue (DLAR), Pure Wafer (PUR), Oxford Instruments (OXIG), PureCircle (PURE), NCC Group (NCC), Greencore (GNC) and Waterman (WTM), Sound Energy (SOU), Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR), ITM Power (ITM) and Record (REC).




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