FTSE drops on resources as oil, copper prices slip

London equities opened moderately lower with multiple big miners and oilies leading the way as crude oil and copper prices ebb, with financials also providing a southbound guiding hand.

Among metals diggers, BHP Billiton (BLT) fell 3.29% to 1295p, while Rio Tinto (RIO) lost 2.46% to 2953.5p and Anglo American (AAL) eased 2.22% to 1180.75p. More followed.

Oilies were led lower by Shell (RDSA), off 1.42% to 2043.5p, with BP (BP.) trailing and down 1.02% to 465.25p.

At 8.34am, WTI crude was down 0.06% to $51.03/bbl and Brent was down 0.35% to $53.75/bbl. Gold was up 0.6% to $1176.4/oz. Industrial-metal copper was firmly lower.

Also southbound were captained by Barclays (BARC), off 1.73% to 215.25p. More financials followed, among them Experian (EXPN), Standard Chartered (STAN) and St James's Place (STJ).

Overall, about 84 blue chips were southbound, and 16 made gains. Property was notable with Barratt Developments (BDEV) up 1.21% to 473.15p, and Land Securities (LAND) up 0.8% to 946.5p.

IN THE NEWS

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), down 0.72% to 1458p, and Innoviva have announced that Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved Relvar Ellipta (fluticasone furoate / vilanterol 100/25 mcg) for the relief of various symptoms with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

BIGGER MOVERS

Altona Energy (ANR), up 22.22% to 0.55p, swung into the black in the year to the end of June posting a profit of £38,000 compared with a loss of £1.3m last time.

Laird (LRD) fell 15.38% to 128.2p as it said it saw FY underlying pretax profit at about £50m for 2016. "We expect year-end net debt to EBITDA to be within the group's covenant of 3.5-times," it said.

Prospex Oil & Gas (PXOG), up 13.64% to 2.5p, said the well drilling plan has been approved by the Polish Mining Authority to drill the Boleslaw-1 well ('Boleslaw-1' or 'the Well') in the 1,150 sq km Licence.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

James Halstead (JHD), down 12.39% to 423.38p, said trading to date has been challenging and making progress against the comparative half-year will be difficult. Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV), up 5.88% to 2.25p, has acquired the Batangas gold project for a consideration of 1.25m shares in Bluebird.

Berkeley Group (BKG), up 3.67% to 2638.5p, has posted an H1 pretax profit of £392.7m, up 33.9% on last time. This is from the sale of 2076 homes (2015: 2091) at an average selling price of £655,000 (2015: £506,000), reflecting the mix of properties sold in the year.

SafeCharge International (SCH), up 2.26% to 226.5p, said trading ahead of the 2016 year end remains strong and that as a result its FY financial performance is expected to be in line with market expectations.

Urban&Civic (UANC), up 1.35% to 197.38p, has booked a FY pretax profit of £25.9m, from £7.0m. Dividend per share was 2.9p, from 2.65p, including a final payment of 1.8p. EPRA net asset value was £409.8m, from £389.9m. EPRA NAV per share was 284.2p, from 270.4p.

IndigoVision (IND), down 1.28% to 154p, expects to report a profitable outcome for the year to 31 December, which would represent a substantial improvement over the FY 2015 operating loss of $0.7m.

QinetiQ (QQ.), up 0.25% to 243.5p, has been awarded a £1bn contract amendment to the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA) from the UK Ministry of Defence, committing about half the core LTPA revenues until 31 March 2028.

Other stocks in the news included G4S (GFS), Mobile Streams (MOS), Elektron Technology (EKT), Rare Earth Minerals (REM), CloudBuy (CBUY), Opera Investments (OPRA) and Amryt Pharma (AMYT).