- FTSE indices tracked mildly lower in early deals with miners and oilies leading the way, along with a side order of banks, insurers and some leisure-linked stocks. This after lower sessions on Wall St and in Asia after OPEC yesterday decided not to limit crude oil production.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 16.88 points, or 0.27%, to 6206.64. FTSE 250 fell 32.48, or 0.19%, to 17,323.6. At 8.32am, crude was up, but still downbeat after the OPEC call yesterday. Gold and copper were at USD1072/oz and USD204/lb. European bourses were softening.

Anglo American (AAL) led blue chip fallers with its hefty slide of 4.96% to 350.68p, on news of China's forex reserves shrinking and declining imports revealed manufacturing weakness. In the frame, too, were Glencore (GLEN), off 4.6% to 81.43p, and BHP Billiton (BLT), lower 4.5% to 730.8p. Rio Tinto (RIO), which is discussed further down, was in the news and also off.

Oil majors traced BG (BG.), down 1.76% to 965.8p, and BP (BP.), off 1.31% to 343.05p. Insurers tapered after Old Mutual (OML), falling 0.9% to 198.8p, while banks contracted after Barclays (BARC), down 1.08% to 225.53p, and RBS (RBS), softer 0.6% to 297.7p. Several leisure-related issues followed Carnival (CCL) down, it falling 0.43% to 3481p.

Overall, fallers and risers were roughly evenly split. Supermarkets queued at the top of the risers' ladder after British Retail Consortium data showed retail sales growth in November. Sainsbury (SBRY) rose 4.16% to 251.75p, while Tesco (TSCO) added 3.15% to 161.95p. Consumer goods outfits followed, as did several pharmas and property stocks.

Returning to mining, Rio Tinto (RIO), down 3.06% to 2002.75p, said by end-2015 its Aluminium product group will have made about USD300m of cash cost improvements, a reduction of USD45m in sustaining capex and cut working capital by about USD400m versus 2014. It planned to remove a further USD300m in cash costs in 2016.


Kolar Gold (KGLD), down 27.5% to 0.73p, has booked a FY post-tax loss of GBP1.3m, down from GBP5.6m last time. Its CEO, Nick Spencer, has stepped down with immediate effect. CentralNic (CNIC), down 22.61% to 44.5p, has conditionally agreed to acquire Instra Group for a total consideration of AUD33m.

Motive Television (MTV), up 20% to 0.02p, has about GBP2.98m of convertible loan notes maturing on Dec. 31, 2015. It said today that it had reached agreement in principle with the largest holder of its CLNs. It expects to conclude talks with all CLN holders before Dec. 31.

InfraStrata (INFA), down 20% to 2p, has posted a FY loss of GBP6.1m, from a loss of GBP1.2m, after making impairments of GBP6.1m to reflect the cash proceeds from the exploration asset divestments. Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL), up 32.89% to 50.5p, has had its shares readmited to LSE's main board after acquiring Starneth Group and investing in New York Wheel Project.


Aureus Mining (AUE), down 15.56% to 4.75p, has received a request for arbitration from International Construction & Engineering (Seychelles) over its contract to carry out civil and earth works at Aureus's New Liberty gold mine.

Cenkos Securities (CNKS), up 10.51% to 163p, noted the recent fall in its share price and confirmed it had become aware of a recent press article that included a number of materially inaccurate references to the company.

Vislink (VLK), down 8.62% to 26.5p, said Vislink Communications Systems (VCS) has found market conditions challenging, but noted December remains a key trading month. The group's current FY revenue expectation was in the range GBP54m-GBP58m.

Medaphor (MED), down 6.9% to 54p, has revised its estimate for FY actual realised sales to GBP2.1m-GBP2.5m, yielding an adjusted loss (before share based payment charge) in the range of GBP1.7m-GBP2.0m.

Hornby (HRN), down 4.6% to 90.63p, has posted H1 underlying group losses of GBP3.4m, from a year-ago profit of GBP0.2m. Sales fell to GBP22.3m, from GBP24.2m, and the statutory loss for the period of GBP4.5m, up from GBP0.5m.

Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS), down 3.76% to 194.88p, has raised GBP3.8m via the issue of 2.6m unsecured CLN. Proceeds would be used to fund development of its clinical stage assets milciclib and foralumab, meet ongoing licensing liabilities and for working capital.

DekelOil Public (DKL), up 2.17% to 1.18p, 51% owner of the vertically integrated Ayenouan palm oil project in Cote d'Ivoire, said it has improved the project's economics after an agreement with JV partner Biopalm Energy that reduced the company's debt position by 5.1m euros.

Treatt (TET), up 2.44% to 168p, has improved its FY pretax profit to GBP7.8m, from GBP5.5m. Revenue was GBP85.9m, from GBP79.2m. Total dividend was up 5% to 404p a share. Wood Group (WG.), down 0.97% to 535.25p, has won a new, multi-year contract with ConocoPhillips in Australia. The contract is effective immediately.

Other stocks in the news included 1Spatial (SPA), McKay Securities (MCKS), Rex Bionics (RXB), Vianet (VNET), GW Pharmaceuticals (GWP), CareTech Holdings (CTH), RWS (RWS) and Atlantis (ARL).

Story provided by