- FTSE indices closed mixed, barely off starting levels, as retailers hoped UK consumers would indulge on the start of the Black Friday weekend. Tapering prices in gold and copper saw big-ticket miners fall. Oil majors also tightened. Wall St was mixed and Europe was mildly down.

FTSE 100 closed down 17.98 points, or 0.28%, to 6375.15. FTSE 250 rose 48.7, or 0.28%, to 17,265.1. At 4.46pm, WTI and Brent crude were down 2.25% and 0.99%. Gold and copper were at USD1057/oz and USD205/lb.

UK's Black Friday -- ushering in the Christmas selling season -- had no compelling impact on retail-sector shares. The FTSE 350 index for general retail was up 0.61%. Instead it was miners falling on China economic concerns and a dive in the price of gold that divined top-100 direction.

Anglo American (AAL) led miners south with a fall of 8.18% to 400.15p, with Fresnillo (FRES) off 4.51% to 715.25p and Randgold (RRS) lower 4.25% to 3998.5p. Others also eased, among them Rio Tinto (RIO), down 3.17% to 2199p on plans to expand bauxite output at Amrun, Australia.

Oilies traced Shell's (RDSA) tapering of 0.96% to 1656.5p, with BP (BP.) losing 0.78% to 386.55p. Meantime, Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) guided financial with a 2.45% tumble to 335.1p, with Standard Chartered (STAN) easing 1.26% to 558.5p.

Overall about 47 blue chips were lower, while those nudging ahead included several utilities outfits in train behind Severn Trent (SVT), up 2.09% to 2248p, along with a raft of commercial and residential property specialists. Land Securities (LAND) added 0.65% to 1233p and Persimmon (PSON) rose 0.64% to 1877p.


Stock Spirits (STCK), down 24.86% to 130p, expects its FY EBITDA to be in the range 50m-54m euros, before any forex impact, rather than the previous range of 60m-68m euro. It cited aggressive pricing by competitors and irregular customer buying patterns.

Orogen Gold (ORE), up 22.22% to 0.03p, said preliminary interpretation of drill results at the Mutsk project, Australia, suggested potential for new gold zones and extensions to the existing gold zone.

React Energy (REAC) slumped 30% to 3.5p as it remained laden with losses. Its FY deficit did, however, narrow substantially to 0.9m euros, from a loss of 14.7m euros.

Beowulf (BEM) rose 18.46% to 5.78p on booking a nine-month pretax loss of GBP1.4m, from a year-ago loss of GBP2.1m. Anglesea Mining (AYM) dived 16.67% to 1.25p as it chalked-up an H1 net loss of GBP0.14m, from a year-earlier loss of GBP0.88m.


UK's economy -- as measured in second-estimate gross domestic product (GDP) -- grew 0.5% on the quarter in Q3, in line with market estimates and unchanged from the preceding three-month period.

The index of services printed at 0.7% in Q3, which was a tickle below the expected reading of 0.8% and below the preceding quarter's 0.9%.

Consumer confidence in the UK fell to a seasonally adjusted reading of 1 on GfK's consumer confidence index for the country in October. This against an expected and preceding print of 2.


Aortech (AOR) plunged 8.62% to 26.5p as it posted substantial interim losses of USD0.56m.

Volex (VLX), up 7.72% to 59.38p, has combined the roles of chairman and CEO to create an executive chairman position, to which Nathaniel Rothschild had been appointed immediately.

Baron Oil (BOIL), down 6.25% to 0.38p, has begun topography work in the area around the Minchales well location in the south of Block XXI, onshore Peru. There have been slight delays in obtaining local approvals and also seismic equipment being held up at customs.

Pennon (PNN) rallied 5.5% to 883p as it hiked H1 pretax profit by 6.8% to GBP106.8m, adding it was on track to meet management views for the FY.

Stellar Diamonds (STEL), down 3.45% to 14p, has formally submitted its application for a large-scale mining licence for the Tongo project to the National Minerals Agency of Sierra Leone.

Future (FUTR) fell 3.45% to 11.38p after raising GBP3.3m at a discounted 10p. Funds would go to investments in various revenue streams including e-commece, events and digital advertising.

Patisserie (CAKE) tumbled 2.17% to 332.63p as investors took profits following a strong run for the stock, up 60% over the last 12 months. Its FY pretax profit was up 29% to GBP14.6m, with revenue 20% higher at GBP91.9m. Its maiden and final dividend was 1.67p a share.

Caffyns (CFYN) fell 2.56% to 570p despite revving in with strong interims. H2 trading may be more challenging.

Other stocks in the news included Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL), Braveheart Investment Group (BRH), TMT Investments (TMT), Balfour Beatty (BBY), Lamprell (LAM), Origin Enterprises (OGN), Rightster (RSTR), Rasmala (RMA), The Mission Marketing Group (TMMG) and Northern Bear (NTBR).

Story provided by