- London stocks are mixed in early deals with the blue-chip ladder down and the mid cap up. Metals majors guided the FTSE 100 lower, helped by falls among the wider financial sector.

Anglo American (AAL) dropped 2.41% to 1105.75p, while Fresnillo (FRES) shed 1.82% to 1081p and Antofagasta (ANTO) ebbed 1.68% to 658.75p. More followed close behind.

HSBC (HSBA) fell 1.48% to 657.05p, while Standard Chartered (STAN) lost 1.46% to 675p. Old Mutual (OML) shed 1.15% to 196.9p and Schroders (SDR) fell 0.9% to 2958p.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 21.14 points, or 0.3%, to 6990.5p, while FTSE 250 was up 2.74, or 0.02%, to 17,787.5.

At 8.34am, WTI crude was up 0.79% to $52.31/bbl and Brent was up 0.63% to $55.56/bbl. Gold was up 0.4% to $1142.0/oz.

Also lower were blue-chip airlines, along with several pharmas and retail-related issues, but others in these latter two sectors rose. To the upside, leisure and oilies were notable.

TUI (TUI) rose 1.08% to 1121p and Merlin (MERL) firmed 0.22% to 439.35p. However, Carnival (CCL) dropped 2.48% to 3967p to lead the FTSE 100 lower.

Commercial property followed Hammerson (HMSO), up 0.77% to 557.75p, while Barratt Developments (BDEV), up 0.39% to 458.8p, guided house builders.

BP (BP.), up 0.78% to 493.5p, has agreed a deal with Kosmos Energy to partner on world-class discoveries in Mauritania and Senegal and been awarded a 10% interest in Abu Dhabi's ADCO onshore concession.


Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL), down 79.69% to 1.62p, announces the Mesurado-1 well operated by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Liberia Ltd reached final total depth on Dec. 17. The well will be plugged and abandoned.

San Leon Energy (SLE), up 22.62% to 52.88p, notes the takeover speculation regarding the company and confirms that it has received an approach from a possible offeror, which may or may not lead to an offer being made.

Mkango Resources (MKA), up 15.38% to 3.75p, has entered into a collaboration agreement with Noble Resources International, which will also allow Noble to acquire up to a 12.5% interest in Mkango.


SerVision's (SEV) UK subsidiary, SerVision UK Ltd, has been awarded two new customer orders for its IVG400-N system. Shares in SerVision (SEV) rose 14.29% to 2p.

Volga Gas (VGAS), down 7.69% to 48p, has updated on its drilling activities on a sidetrack to the Uzen #4 oil well. Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP), up 7.37% to 51p, has received approval for its Metformin Hydrochloride extended-release tablets (500 mg and 750 mg) from the US FDA.

Collagen Solutions (COS), down 6.12% to 5.75p, has psoted an H1 pretax loss of £983,313, up from £356,537 last time. Versarien (VRS), up 4.55% to 11.5p, announces an agreement with Fern Plastic Products Ltd to manufacture injection moulded products using graphene enhanced polyaryletherketone (PAEK) materials.

WANdisco (WAND), up 3.8% to 205p, said that, via its OEM sales partnership with IBM, it has secured a significant contract win with a major automotive multinational. The agreement is valued at about $1m in royalties to be paid to WANdisco.

Bagir (BAGR), down 3.13% to 3.88p, intends to raise £1.97m via the issue of 56,326,220 new ordinary shares at 3.5p apiece. Solo Oil (SOLO), down 3.51% to 0.28p, said spudding of the Ntorya-2 appraisal well is expected in the next few days.

NWF Group (NWF), down 2.25% to 173.5p, reports that H1 trading was lower than the prior year as a result of a weaker first quarter, but has been better in recent months. Directors maintain their FY expectations in terms of performance and net-debt levels.

Scisys (SSY), up 1.85% to 110p, has signed a contract with Airbus DS GmbH in respect of the Payload Operations Centre (PLOC) for the MERLIN (Methane Remote Sensing LIDAR Mission) satellite's LIDAR instrument.

IP Group (IPO), down 1.39% to 155.8p, portfolio company Ceres Power Holdings has signed a joint-development licence agreement to develop and launch a multi-kW combined heat and power product using its SteelCell technology with a leading global original equipment manufacturer.

Other stocks in the news included Clariant (82HN), GVC Holdings (GVC), Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB), Sirius Petroleum (SRSP), Brewin Dolphin (BRW), Mytrah Energy (MYT), Caledonia Investments (CLDN), WH Ireland (WHI), Asa Resource Group (ASA), IP Group (IPO), Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX), Tri-Star Resources (TSTR), Aminex (AEX), Proactis Holdings (PHD), Saga (SAGA).

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