“Blue-chips opened lower after mixed trading in Asia this morning and gains on Wall Street overnight on Friday, with traders looking to UK housing data and US industrial and manufacturing figures later today while fears over a ‘hard Brexit’ continue to weigh on sentiment,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Bookmakers Ladbrokes and Gala Coral are selling 359 shops to rivals to get clearance for their £2.3bn merger. The Competition Markets Authority ruled in July that the firms needed to sell between 350 and 400 shops to get merger approval. The two firms have now agreed to sell 322 shops to Betfred and 32 to Stan James for a total of £55.5m which should be the last significant hurdle to the merger.
“Publishing group Pearson was the biggest blue-chip faller in early trading. The group has reiterated 2016 guidance and its simplification plan is on-track but its markets remain challenging and it is managing discretionary costs tightly.
“Anglo Asian Mining’s shares rose after the group confirmed a new gold find within its Gedabek licence area in western Azerbaijan. Anglo Asian is now well positioned to expand its mineable reserves which will lay the foundations for long term and sustainable production from multiple deposits at Gedabek.”
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