- Mining stocks were the main casualties this morning as BHP Billiton (BLT), Fresnillo (FRES) and Anglo American (AAL) declined by up to 1.8% each.

Consumer stocks also struggled as UK supermarket Tesco (TSCO) fell 1.6%, spirits maker Diageo (DGE) dipped 1.5% and Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB) was down 1.6%.

Among the other notable blue-chip fallers was high street bank HSBC (HSBA), down 1.3% to 726.5p.

The FTSE slumped 0.7% to 7,346 in early trading.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.2% to $54.18 per barrel. Gold was unmoved at $1,328 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.9% to $6,591 per tonne.


Sales at housebuilder Galliford Try (GFRD) rose by 6% to £2,820m in the year to 30 June 2017 thanks to a strong underlying performance. Investors focused on a 17% hike in the dividend instead of a 57% decline in pre-tax profits to £58.7m (affected by one-off charges on legacy contracts). Shares in the company ticked 1.8% higher to £13.88.

Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty (BBY) retreated 0.4% to 262.9p following its decision to sell its 95% share in Blackpool Airport to Blackpool Council for £4.25m.

Bikes seller Halfords (HFD) nabbed Dixons Carphone (DC.) chief executive Graham Stapleton. The company reported that Stapleton is due to take up the post of CEO from 15 January 2018.

Shares in Halfords advanced 0.9% on the news.


Immunotherapies developer Scancell (SCLP) fell 4.3% to 13.4p after its cash balance plummeted from £6.5m to £2.7m in the year to 30 April 2017. The firm also racked up further losses of £3.5m, up from £2.6m last year.

Story provided by