StockMarketWire.com - London equities finished the session as they began -- firmly southbound. Blue-chip resources, property and financials provided key ballast.

FTSE 100 closed down 59.55 points, or 0.85%, to 6958.09, while FTSE 250 dropped 132.87, or 0.75%, to 17,669.0.

At 4.40pm, WTI crude was down 0.44% to $49.74/bbl and Brent was down 0.81% to $50.38/bbl. Gold was down 0.33% to $1269.4/oz.

Whitbread (WTB) led blue-chips lower with a fall of 4.62% to 3528p, with British American Tobacco (BATS), off 2.87% to 4583p, and Micro Focus (MCRO), off 2.58% to 2117p, trailing.

Antofagasta (ANTO), down 3.24% to 523p and off earlier lows, expects its FY copper output will be at the lower end of guidance, with output the following 12 months even lower still.

Other miners followed, as did oilies behind Shell (RDSA), lower 1.68% to 2048.5p, as a rise in US oil stores on Tuesday continued to dampen crude prices.

Commercial property followed Land Securities (LAND), lower 2% to 1004.5p. House builders were further back. Also down were several banks, insurers and financial services. Utilities eased.

Lloyds Banking (LLOY) added 0.96% to 55.88p as it reported a robust underlying performance with strong improvement in statutory profit for the first nine months of the year.

Roughly 80 blue chips retreated, about 38 by 1% or more. To the upside the story was written by retail-related and airlines, the latter after the government backed a third runway for Heathrow yesterday.

International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) added 5.2% to 422.7p, while Marks & Spencer (MKS) added 2.36% to 342.3p.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Stateside, the US international trade deficit was $56.1bn in September, down $3.1bn from $59.1bn in August, the US Census Bureau said. Exports of goods for September totalled $125.6bn, versus imports of goods totalling $181.7bn.

Meantime, sales of new single-family houses in September 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000, estimates from US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed.

The Markit 'flash' US Services PMI Business Activity Index signalled a robust expansion of service sector output in October rising to 54.8, up from 52.3 in September.

US wholesale inventories for September, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $590.7 billion, up 0.2% from August and virtually unchanged from September 2015, the US Census Bureau said today.

UK mortgages approved by British Banker's Association rose to a seasonally adjusted 38.3k in September, from an upwardly revised 37.2k and versus forecasts for a print of 37.3k.

LONDON NEWS

Impact Holdings (UK) (IHUK), down 33.33% to 25p, said following a hearing on June 30 at the Supreme Court between Impact Funding Solutions Ltd (IFSL) and AIG Europe Insurance UK Ltd the Court found in favour of AIG.

Armadale (ACP), up 24% to 3.88p,has confirmed that 18 out of 21 drill holes at its Mahenge Liandu project in Tanzania were visually logged as intersecting high-grade coarse flake graphite mineralisation.

Reach4entertainment (R4E), down 17.33% to 1.55p, intends to raise up to £2m gross via a placing of new shares priced at not less than 1.5p each. Zibao Metals Recycling Holdings (ZBO), down 7.14% to 1.63p, said all resolutions were passed at its AGM on Wednesday.

Trading Emissions (TRE), up 7.14% to 3.75p, has swung to a FY pretax profit of £1.7m, from a year-earlier loss of £11.3m. Ortac Resources (OTC), down 8.42% to 0.04p, said Beaufort Securities has raised £300,000 gross via a placing of 750m new shares at 0.04p each.

Forbidden Technologies (FBT), down 6.06% to 11.63p, has announced further developments on its Forscene video cloud platform. Forbidden is adding two new apps to its innovative camera to screen video management cloud solution.

Genel Energy (GENL), down 3.62% to 89.63p, said its net production averaged 53,100 barrels of oil per day in Q3, down 8% on the previous quarter.

Earthport (EPO), down 3.08% to 15.75p, said FY revenues increased 18% to £22.8m. It said that while this was clearly lower than what it expected at the start of the year, it was in line with the projections stated at its capital markets day on 27 April.

Sylvania Platinum Ltd (SLP), up 1.44% to 9.13p, said Sylvania Dump Operations (SDO) achieved a new production record of 17,257 ounces for Q1, representing a 6% increase over the previous quarter.

Other stocks in the news included OptiBiotix (OPTI), Meggitt (MGGT), Banco Santander (BNC), Red24 (REDT), Surgical Innovations (SUN), Redde (REDD), Centaur Media (CAU), MySQUAR (MYSQ), Dalata Hotel (DAL), Benchmark (BMK), Lighthouse (LGT), Gulf Keystone (GKP), Metro Bank (MTRO), Mariana (MARL), Sula Iron & Gold (SULA), Egdon (EDR), Atlantis (ARL), Riverstone Energy (RSE) and Nostrum Oil & Gas (NTOG).



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