FTSE mixed as miners, oilies drag blue chips south

London stocks opened the session mixed -- the blue-chip ladder up and the mid-cap down -- with big-ticket mining and oil companies making gains as the price of gold and crude oil improving.

At 8.34am, WTI crude was up 1.42% to $46.34/bbl and Brent was up 1.52% to $47.57/bbl. Gold was up 0.45% to $1214.1/oz.

Antofagasta (ANTO) guided blue chips up with a 2.82% surge to 684.75p, and chased by Anglo American (AAL), up 2.55% to 1117.25p, and others.

Shell (RDSA) stacked on 1.73% to 2019.25p, and BP (BP.) rose 1.32% to 453.58p. Multiple insurers and banks were on the front foot, albeit off resources' pace.

Intu (INTU) added 1.12% to 271.1p, while Old Mutual (OML) firmed 0.87% to 190.55p and HSBC (HSBA) rose 0.43% to 636.5p. More in these sectors accelerated, too.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 17.2 points, or 0.25%, to 6792.97, while FTSE 250 fell 36.81, or 0.21%, to 17,622.4. Blue chip losers outnumbered winners 58 to 42.

To the downside the story was penned by leisure, commercial property and pharmas. Merlin (MERL) faded 1.12% to 432.3p, while Hammerson (HMSO) retreated 0.77% to 550.75p.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), down 0.44% to 1515.75p, has filed a regulatory submission with the US FDA for the once-daily, closed triple combination therapy fluticasone furoate/umeclidinium/vilanterol (FF/UMEC/VI 100/62.5/25 mcg) for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

BIGGER MOVERS

Bos Global Holdings (BOS), up 64.1% to 8p, announces the execution of a distribution deal between subsidiary, Bos Distributions and Ag-I Solutions Ltd. This secures Bos distribution of Ag-I Solutions products globally, and first rights to acquire the underlying IP.

African Potash (AFPO), down 43.18% to 0.12p, said its nominated adviser, Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, has given notice of its intention to resign, effective from Dec. 7.

Senterra Energy (SEN), down 41.18% to 2.5p, said its plans to acquire Oasis Smart Sim Pte Ltd have terminated by that company. It believes a replacement transaction will be found. Its shares have been restored to trading.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Essentra (ESNT), down 20.86% to 391.2p, said its FY 2016 outlook is now for a like-for-like revenue decline in line with the first half out-turn of -7%, with adjusted operating profit in the range of £137m-£142m, revised from £155-£165m.

Plutus PowerGen (PPG), up 20.19% to 3.13p, has received an offer by a leading Big Six multinational utility company to fund up to 20% of any 20MW renewable fuel or gas powered flexible energy projects going forward.

Arria NLG (NLG), down 19.15% to 9.5p, has received £1.1m of the £2.7 million relating to loan notes it announced on Oct. 3. It expects to receive the balance of about £1.6m by Dec. 15.

Alternative Networks (AN.), up 18.63% to 338.38p, has recommended an offer from Daisy Intermediate Holdings Ltd. Shareholders would receive 335p a share in cash, valuing Alternative Networks at about £165.3m.

Red Rock Resources (RRR), up 18.75% to 0.48p, notes that Jupiter Mines Ltd said 49.9%-owned associate Tshipi e Ntle Manganese Mining Proprietary Ltd has resolved to distribute ZAR 1bn to its shareholders in respect of the year ending 28 February 2017.

Thalassa (THAL), up 15.79% to 44p, has issued a trading update for subsidiary WGP Group (WGPG) following successful completion of the autumn Permanent Reservoir Monitoring programmes in the North Sea.

Mitie Group (MTO), down 13.26% to 182.15p, has swung to an H1 pretax loss of £100.4m, from a profit of £45.1m. Dividend was 4p a share, from 5.4p. "Second-half performance is expected to improve with our new operating model as we adapt to market conditions."

Blue Prism (PRSM), up 8.82% to 308.5p, reports that momentum has continued in the final quarter of the financial year. Directors expected FY trading to be comfortably ahead of its existing expectations.

Other stocks in the news included Omega Diagnostics (ODX), Frontier IP (FIPP), Intelligent Energy (IEH), Premaitha Health (NIPT), SigmaRoc (SRC), Costain (COST), Personal Group (PGH), Kibo Mining (KIBO), Georgia Healthcare (GHG), Chemring (CHG), Safeland (SAF), Chamberlin (CMH), Barloworld (BWO), Palace Capital (PCA), Diurnal (DNL) and EnQuest (ENQ).