- London blue chips were down an ace in opening deals, but already rising off earlier lows, after key US and Asian indices slipped overnight.

The UK market remains jittery about inflation, its overall economic well-being and the ever-nearer spectre of Brexit and its impact.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 2.47 points, or 0.03%, to 7275.45, while FTSE 250 was up 44.83, or 0.24%, to 18,750.6. Both ladders closed lower on Thursday.

Blue-chip fallers were guided down by lenders Standard Chartered (STAN), off 2% to 792.05p, and Barclays (BARC), off 1.28% to 234.95p, with more of their sector pals following.

Resources stocks were also lower, with oilies falling after Shell (RDSA), down 1.05% to 2100.75p and BP (BP.), down 0.51% to 446.13p. At 8.36am, WTI crude was up 0.24% to $53.49/bbl and Brent was up 0.31% to $55.82/bbl.

Miners eased after Anglo American (AAL), lower 1.17% to 1353.5p, and Rio Tinto (RIO), off 1.12% to 3606.25p. Gold fell 0.27% to $1238.3/oz, with silver and copper retreating similarly. Sterling was up a wafer against the dollar, which was firmer overall.

Overall, blue-chip risers and fallers were roughly evenly split. Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) fizzed up 1.67% to 1944p. Also up were multiple residential and commercial property stocks, along with pharmas.

AstraZeneca (AZN), up 1.66% to 4599.5p, has announced positive results from its phase III OLYMPIAD trial comparing Lynparza (olaparib) tablets (300mg twice daily) to physician's choice of a standard of care chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer harbouring germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.


Industrial Multi Property Trust (IMPT) was up 25.41% to 307.25p after Hansteen Holdings (HSTN), up 0.73% to 117.85p, made a recommended cash offer for the company at 300p a share and valuing its issued capital at £25.2m.

Metal Tiger (MTR), down 16.22% to 2.33p, has reported the discovery of a new zone of mineralisation located directly beneath the high-grade copper and silver T3 Resource in the Kalahari Copper Belt, Botswana.

ASA Resource Group (ASA) fell 15.38% to 1.65p as it reported continuous progress on reducing corporate costs in Q3, but said from an operational perspective the three-month period had been mixed. It hoped to get "back on track" in forthcoming quarters.


Tern (TERN) rose 13.16% to 10.75p as it swung to a FY pretax profit of £5.3m, from a year-earlier loss of £185,121. It enjoyed a £5.8m rise in the fair value of investments, from £63,492 previously.

Driver (DRV), down 10.64% to 42p, has posted an underlying pretax loss of £0.4m, from a profit of £1.1m, and a reported pretax loss of £5.3m, from £1.9m. It announced a proposed fundraising of up to £8m via the conditional placing of up to 22.9m shares at a minimum of 35p each.

Segro (SGRO), up 3.06% to 497.8p, said its FY pretax profit has slipped to £426.4m, from £686.5m, in what it billed as a strong set of results. EPRA net-asset value per share was up 8% to 500p, with total dividend rising to 16.4p a share, from 15.6p.

Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM), down 0.1% to 297.3p, has agreed to sell its global Rotary Transfer Systems business to Moog Holding GmbH & Co. KG, whose ultimate parent company is Moog Inc. The sale values the business at €40m on a cash- and debt-free basis.

Essentra (ESNT), down 2.98% to 408.95p, has posted FY total adjusted operating profits of £132m, down 23% at actual exchange rates. The fall in revenue, profit and EPS was driven by deterioration in Health & Personal Care Packaging and short-term issues in Filter Products. A review was underway.

Kingspan (KGP), down 1.24% to 29.5p, has reported another record year with double-digit increases in revenues and trading profits, the latter up 33% to €340.9m. Total dividend was up 34% to 33.5 cents a share.

Millennium & Copthorne (MLC), down 0.34% to 427.05p, has noted intense pressure on revenue and profit in all its key gateway cities, particularly New York and Singapore, as it posted a marginally lower FY pretax profit of £108m, from £109m.

Other stocks in the news included Unite (UTG), Coats (COA), Holders Technology (HDT), Keywords Studios (KWS), JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG) and Bowleven (BLVN).

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