- London stocks slumped in early deals as a fall in crude prices had a knock-on impact for mining and oil majors. Financial and retail stocks were again southbound. This after an Easter-shortened trading week already battered by the terror attacks in Brussels.

Next (NXT), down 9.72% to 6012.5p, has upped its FY pretax profit to GBP836m, from GBP794.8m, with revenue ahead. Dividend per share was 158p, from 150p. It was traced much further back by Tesco (TSCO), down 2.77% to 192.08p, and M&S (MKS), off 3.16% to 399.75p.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 61.42 points, or 0.99%, to 6137.69. FTSE 250 was down 109.33, or 0.65%, to 16,755.3. At 8.37am, WTI crude was at USD39.28/bbl. Brent was at USD40.18/bbl. Gold was at USD1215/oz. Europe, Wall St and Asia were lower.

Anglo American (AAL), off 5.91% to 492.58p, guided miners south and was followed by Glencore (GLEN), down 3.89% to 147.53p, and others. Oilies traced Shell (RDSA), lower 1.68% to 1667.5p, with BP (BP.) down 1.38% to 351.2p. Utility stocks were broadly southbound, too.

Overall, about 95 blue chips were tapering, 41 by 1% or more. Among them were all sectors. Banks followed Standard Chartered (STAN), off 4.72% to 455.05p, while insurers were behind Aviva (AV.), down 1.96% to 463.15p. Leisure was down, returning some of Wednesday's gains.

Property and pharmas saw mostly mild losses. Balfour Beatty (BBY), up 0.3% to 252.25p, has been awarded a GBP170m two-year extension to its Track Partnership contract for London Underground.


Intelligent Energy (IEH), down 90.67 to 4.2, said recent and unexpected developments in talks with various parties mean it will not be able to complete a funding process, in sufficient quanta, by the end of Q1 2016. Further, there was no certainty an appropriate funding plan could be implemented at all.

Trading Emissions (TRE), up 30.66% to 7.18p, has confirmed a distribution of capital to shareholders of 5.0p a share, totalling about GBP12.5m. It separately posted an H1 pretax loss of GBP0.3m, from a year-ago loss of GBP0.1m.

Asiamet Resources (ARS), up 18.84% to 4.1p, noted the rise in its share price and said it remains on track to release the findings of a preliminary economic assessment on the Beruang Kanan Main deposit. It is also progressing the conversion of its exploration licences to production licences for both the Beutong and Jelai projects with the government of Indonesia.


Active Energy (AEG), down 14.69% to 4.5p, expects to report a FY loss despite strong trading by its AEG WoodFibre division in Q4.

Renishaw (RSW), down 12.47% to 1793.5p, said revenue last year benefited from a number of large orders in the Far East which have not been repeated to the same extent this year. "We are unlikely to achieve the trading levels previously anticipated," it said.

Venn Life Sciences (VENN), up 10.67% to 20.75p, said, further to January's trading update, it now expects FY 2015 revenues to be significantly more than double the previous year's 4.9m euros, and to exceed market expectations by at least 15%.

Mitie (MTO), down 8.34% to242.35p, expects FY profits will be within the range of current market expectations. Northamber (NAR), down 7.14% to 32.5p, has widened its H1 pretax loss to GBP0.55m, from a loss of GBP0.29m. Revenue was at GBP32.5m, from GBP35.7m. It proposed an interim dividend of 0.1p a share.

Frontier IP (FIPP), up 4.26% to 24.5p, has raised about GBP1m gross via a placing of 4.18m new shares at 24p each. Proceeds would provide support for the development and growth of the portfolio and relationships, expanding the team and allied advisory roles.

Findel (FDL), down 4.59% to 176.75p, has enjoyed an improvement in recent sales performances of its two businesses, trends which position the group well in the coming year. It expected FY pretax profits to be in line with current market views.

Red Rock Resources (RRR), down 6.25% to 0.38p, said the 2016 work programme at Shoats Creek Field has been finalised. Its net share of costs associated with this is about USD0.5m. Henry Boot (BHY), up 2.05% to 224.5p, said its FY pretax profits rose 14% to GBP32.4m, and this was accompanied by a proposed final dividend of 3.80p, taking the total to 6.10p, from 5.60p.

Other stocks in the news included Churchill China (CHH), QinetiQ (QQ.), Entertainment One (ETO), Diploma (DPLM), Petra Diamonds (PDL), Galliford Try (GFRD), Public Service Properties (PSPI), International Public Partnerships (INPP), YOLO (YOLO), BMR (BMR), PuriCore (PURI), Immedia (IME), Polymetal International (POLY), Bilby (BILB), Parkmead (PMG), Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX), Westminster Group (WSG), Urban&Civic (UANC) and Botswana Diamonds (BOD).

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