StockMarketWire.com - Shares in London opened mildly firmer as sterling dipped lower against the dollar and euro, with airlines, house builders and several insurers leading a mixed bag of blue-chip gainers.

Not long after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 16.47 points, or 0.22%, to 7542.98, and the FTSE 250 was up 38.9, or 0.19%, to 20,030.8.

This was set against similarly cautious rises on the Dax and Cac 40. Gold and copper prices were down a little, silver more so. Crude continued to suffer on renewed oversupply concerns.

EasyJet (EZJ) was leading the blue chips with a 1.39% rise to 1419.5p, with British Aiways-owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) up 0.87% to 610.75p after Tuesday's well-publicised falls.

House builders were guided up by Taylor Wimpey (TW.), ahead 1.02% to 203.35p, and Persimmon (PSN), up 0.92% to 2475.5p. More followed.

Also up were several insurers behind Old Mutual (OML), up 0.81% to 192.85p. Several banks, commercial property, retail, consumer goods and pharams were heading north, too.

To the south-side of the FTSE 100, miners were notable. Rio Tinto (RIO) fell 1.77% to 3126.75p, while Anglo American (AAL) dropped 1.61% to 1039p. More in the sector chased. Oil stocks BP (BP.) and Shell (RDSA) were a smidgen lower, too.

Several supermarkets were led down by Tesco (TSCO), which queued 1.12% lower to 183.28p. Morrison (MRW) and Sainsbury (SBRY) were also weaker.

BIGGER MOVERS

China New Energy (CNEL), up 35.56% to 1.53p, has won seven contracts in the north and west of China since the start of this year to design, supply and install ethanol processing equipment and to commission the upgraded plants.

Bezant Resources (BZT) fell 10.87% to 1.02p after signing an agreement with Exumax SAS that encompassed the acquisition, commissioning and operation of the company's first gold-platinum production plant in Colombia with commissioning targeted to occur during Q2/Q3 2017.

Eurasia Mining (EUA) rose 16.67% to 0.53p as it said global, state-approved reserves and resources in the Monchetundra Project comprised Russian standard C1 and C2 categories of 55.9 tonnes palladium equivalent with major additional gold and base metal credits, at two open pittable locations.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Lamprell (LAM), up 10.77% to 111.88p, has agreed a proposed JV to establish a maritime yard for the construction, maintenance and repair of offshore drilling rigs and vessels in Saudi Arabia.

Union Jack Oil (UJO), up 7.41% to 0.15p, said the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has now approved its acquisition of a further 3.33% interest in PEDL180 and PEDL182 from Celtique Energie Petroleum Ltd. It now held a 15% interest in both licences.

Metals Exploration (MTL), up 6.48% to 2.88p, has signed a loan agreement to borrow $2m from its two major shareholders, Runruno Holdings Ltd and MTL (Luxembourg) Sarl. Proceeds would go to facilitate payment of $2.1m of senior debt due on May 31.

Nature Group (NGR), down 6.67% to 8.75p, has marginally widened its FY pretax loss to £2.53m, from a loss of £2.41m, in a year laden with restructuring activities.

Amphion Innovations (AMP), up 4.76% to 2.75p, said partner company m2m Acquisition Inc and North Carolina-based Polarean Inc have signed a definitive merger agreement to create UK-based Polarean Imaging Ltd. Amphion also said the placing pre-IPO fundraise of $2m was complete and the executed merger agreement now cleared the path for the merger to close.

OPG Power Ventures (OPG), up 6.06% to 43.75p, said during the year it stuck to its strategic priority of maximising the cash contribution of existing assets and thereby making the business stronger for the long term.

Safestay (SSTY), up 4.41% to 53.25p, has entered into a debt-financing agreement with Equity Point Hostels that will see it secure more than 90% of that company's share capital, valued at about €10m.

Styles&Wood (STY), up 3.28% to 362.5p, said its trading in the year to date has been in line with management expectations, and that directors were confident in the outlook for the group.

Other stocks in the news included Landore Resources (LND), Trakm8 (TRAK), LondonMetric (LMP), Tekcapital (TEK), Deltex Medical (DEMG), IG Group (IGG), Diversified Gas & Oil (DGOC), Telford Homes (TEF), Sareum Holdings (SAR), and AvangardCo Investments Public (AVGR).

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