FTSE opens higher with miners leading blue chips

London stocks are tiptoeing higher in early deals, which means the FTSE 100 may potentially go on to post another all-time closing high. The session began with an avalanche of mid cap and AIM news, providing trading spurs.

Metals diggers were leading the blue-chip pack. Anglo American (AAL) added 2.16% to 1159.5p, while Glencore (GLEN) rose 2.04% to 294.33p. More followed.

Tobacco stocks exhaled higher after British American Tobacco (BATS), up 1.56% to 4645.25p, while consumer goods was led up by Unilever (ULVR), rising 0.79% to 3320p.

Several leisure stocks were firming, as were a number of pharmas. Blue-chip risers outnumbered fallers 66 to 34.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 17.98 points, or 0.25%, to 7228.03, while FTSE 250 was up 48.72, or 0.27%, to 18,389.90.

At 8.33am, WTI crude was down 0.74% to $53.59/bbl and Brent was down 0.68% to $56.71/bbl. Gold was up 0.23% to $1176.10/oz, while silver and copper slipped lower.

To the downside, Babcock International (BAB) led with a slide of 3.27% to 908.75p, with RSA Insurance (RSA) tapering 1.69% to 566.75p and Capita (CPI) easing 1.45% to 508p.

Commercial property faltered after Land Securities (LAND), down 0.8% to 1048.5p.

BIGGER MOVERS

SpaceandPeople (SAL), down 36.36% to 14p, said trading during December was poorer than expected. It sees results for 2016 to be close to break-even before non-recurring costs and discontinued operations and a loss of about £650,000 after recognising all costs.

Halosource (HALO) was up 27.27% to 1.75p after it said FY revenues from continuing operations are expected to be not less than $2.0m, from $4.2m. Net cash at the year-end was expected to be about $2.1m, from $4.6m.

Orogen Gold (ORE), down 18.52% to 0.01p, has reported on the results from its initial reverse circulation (RC) drilling programme on Galileo Resources's Silverton property in Nevada USA.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Braveheart (BRH), up 17.02% to 13.75p, has acquired a 47% holding in Gyrometric Systems Ltd, which has developed a patent protected system of hardware and software to monitor the vibrations in rotating shafts.

Keras Resources (KRS), up 15% to 0.58p, says drilling has confirmed historic intercepts at its 100% owned, flagship Klondyke gold project in the East Pilbara district of Western Australia.

Galileo (GLR), down 10.45% to 1.5p, joint venture partner Orogen Gold has completed an initial RC drilling programme on the company's Silverton property in Nevada.

RedstoneConnect (REDS), up 9.62% to 1.43p, said trading has continued to be strong in H2 of the current financial year and consequently directors now expect Adjusted EBITDA for the year to be at the upper end of market expectations.

Kodal (KOD), down 6.41% to 0.18p, has raised a total of £1m gross at 0.15p a share. Net proceeds will be used to advance and accelerate the exploration programme at the company's 500sq km Bougouni lithium project in Mali, fund certain exploration activities across its 100% owned gold properties, in addition to funding working capital requirements.

Oracle Coalfields (ORCP), up 6.36% to 2.93p, has been advised by the relevant Pakistani Government authorities that its standing in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been elevated to the Priority List.

Gama Aviation (GMAA), up 7.14% to 165p, has been awarded two long-term special mission contracts. Park Group (PKG), up 5.47% to 82p, announces that it is now a licensed issuer of Mastercard products.

Other stocks in the news included William Hill (WMH), Petrofac (PFC), Gresham Technologies (GHT), Panmure Gordon (PMR), Silence Therapeutics (SLN), Atlantis (ARL), Plus500 (PLUS), Chariot Oil & Gas (CHAR), Trinity Exploration & Production (TRIN), ECO Animal Health (EAH), Water Intelligence (WATR), Centamin (CEY), Mattioli Woods (MTW), Arian Silver (AGQ), Surgical Innovations (SUN), Getech (GTC), Safestore (SAFE), Genel Energy (GENL), Cohort (CHRT), StatPro (SOG), Ilika (IKA), Solo Oil (SOLO), MJ Gleeson (GLE), Styles&Wood (STY), Future (FUTR) and Restore (RST).