- London shares are making minor gains in early deals with multi-commodity miners benefiting from rises in industrial metals prices as sterling makes slim gains against the dollar.

Soon after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 6.64 points, or 0.09%, to 7125.18, while the FTSE 250 was up 19.83, or 0.1%, to 19,938.6. The Dax was ahead, but the Cac 40 was lower. WTI crude was down a bit and Brent was up a jot.

The price of safe-haven gold was slipping a little, but three-month industrial metals futures were strongly ahead.

Rio Tinto (RIO) rose 2.87% to 3156p, with BHP Billiton (BLT) gaining 2.02% to 1227.25p and Glencore (GLEN) adding 1.91% to 306.18p. More miners followed close behind.

Insurers gained after Legal & General (LGEN), up 0.45% to 254.25p, several banks after Lloyds (LLOY), up 0.3% to 64.25p, and several pharmas behind Shire (SHP), up 0.65% to 4477.25p.

Marks & Spencer (MKS) firmed 2.43% to 362.3p, while Mondi (MNDI) advanced 1.68% to 1968.5p.

Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) fell 2.1% to 7122p and led to the downside after producing in-line Q1 results amid challenging macro conditions. It was on track to hit its FY net revenue target.

Utilities featured lower in the wake of United Utilities (UU.), down 1.07% to 967p, and Centrica (CNA), down 1.02% to 204.1p.

Commercial property and supermarkets other than M&S were also notable fallers, as were several house builders and tobacco stocks.

Imperial Brands (IMB) fell 0.8% to 3723p, while Land Securities (LAND) dropped 0.5% to 1103.5p and Morrisons (MRW) eased 0.52% to 230.7p.

Hammerson (HMSO), down 0.04% to 590.25p, announced the successful syndication and signing of a £360m unsecured revolving credit facility.


Vernalis (VER), down 17.24% to 20.38p, said a complete response letter from the US FDA did not raise any concerns with the formulation or pharmacokinetic profile of CCP-07, but identified outstanding items that needed to be addressed prior to the resubmission and approval of a new drug application.

Record (REC) fell 13.02% to 40.88p as its assets under management equivalents rose tyo $58.2bn at March 31, from $56.6bn at Dec. 31, 2016. "The environment of political uncertainty that has prevailed since the middle of 2016 looks set to continue," it said.

Oilex (OEX) rose 12.31% to 0.36p after noting the award of two key contracts to Schlumberger and Baker Hughes as part of its 2017 work programme at the Cambay PSC.


GoTech (GOT), down 8.7% to 2.63p, said operating losses rose to £288,000 in H1, from £257,000 last time. Revenues were £35,000, from nil. Reneuron (RENE) rose 9.52% to 2.3p after updating on its clinical strategy in stroke disability and separately in its ophthalmology programmes.

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), up 5.67% to 5.13p, has received the first $250,000 into its bank account in respect of the $2.0m debtor outstanding, where xG Technology Inc was completing the order on behalf of itself and the company.

Amerisur Resources (AMER), up 4.26% to 24.5p, has spudded well Platanillo-21 on Pad 2N in the Platanillo field in Colombia with drilling rig Serinco D-10. Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDH), down 1.71% to 287.5p, said it expected FY revenue to be about £40m, up roughly 4% on the previous year.

BNN Technology (BNN), up 4.8% to 71p, has appointed Harry Keiley as non-executive chairman and established an advisory panel.

SNC-Lavalin Group and WS Atkins (ATK), up 4.06% to 2062.5p, have agreed terms and conditions of a recommended all-cash acquisition of the latter by SNC-Lavalin (GB) Holdings Ltd. Each Atkins shareholder would receive 2080p in cash a share, valuing its capital at about £2.1bn.

The Restaurant Group (RTN), down 1.71% to 359.15p, said CFO Barry Nightingale would step down from the board and leave the company with immediate effect. A successor had yet to be appointed.

Charles Stanley Group (CAY), up 1.62% to 313p, maintained its positive momentum across all divisions in the quarter and year ended 31 March. Total funds under management and and administration at 31 March were £24.0bn, up 5.7% since end-December 2016.

Other stocks in the news included Sports Direct International (SPD), Goldplat (GDP), Rasmala (RMA), Ithaca Energy (IAE), APQ Global (APQ), Urals Energy Public Company Ltd (UEN), SolGold (SOLG), Gaming Realms (GMR), Electra Private Equity (ELTA), International Biotechnology Trust (IBT) and HaloSource (HAL).

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