FTSE rises on property, leisure despite mining ballast

London shares are on the front foot in early deals, with blue chips guided north by property, leisure and financials stocks as the UK government's would-be Brexit strategy faces a new legal challenge in the High Court.

Firm ballast was provided by miners, several of which were heavily lower.

Not long after the open, FTSE 100 was up 17.58 points, or 0.25%, to 7158.33, while FTSE 250 was up 88.75, or 0.49%, to 18,347.9. In the latest Brexit legal twist, campaigners were contesting parliament had to pass separate laws for UK to leave the EEA and single market.

Blue chips were guided north by ITV (ITV), which rose 1.71% to 204.95p. Financials were led up by Barclays (BARC), ahead 1.51% to 224.7p, and Lloyds (LLOY), rising 1.11% to 65.61p. In leisure, TUI (TUI) rose 1.38% to 1178p and Carnival (CCL) added 0.78% to 4301.5p.

House builder Taylor Wimpey (TW.) piloted property with a 1.14% surge to 173.45p, while commercial was captained by Land Securities (LAND), up 1.11% to 1004.5p. More in both sectors followed. The wider grocery mob was ushered north by Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) and Tesco (TSCO).

At 8.31am, gold was down 0.33% to $1215.4/oz, with silver and copper also softer. WTI crude was up 0.8% to $53.97/bbl and Brent was up 0.8% to $57.01/bbl. Shell (RDSA) firmed 0.5% to 2176.5p. Utilities were mostly firmer.

To the downside, big-ticket miners fell after Glencore (GLEN) and its 4.26% slump to 311.15p. Also down were Anglo American (AAL), off 3.99% to 1322.5p and BHP Billiton (BLT), lower (3.58% to 1381.75p. Rio Tinto (RIO), Antofagasta (ANTO) and Fresnillo (FRES) all fell by more than 2%.

BIGGER MOVERS

Zamano (ZMNO), down 26.32% to 3.5p, said its directors believe it necessary for the company to take the decision to formally wind down the existing business lines in order to protect the cash position on the balance sheet.

Proxama (PROX), down 12.5% to 0.35p, said that on Feb. 1 it received a notice of exercise by Darwin Capital Ltd to convert a further 36 loan notes with an aggregate par value of £900,000 into equity in relation to the convertible loan note.

Beazley (BEZ), up 9.19% to 446.25p, has reported a good performance across the board in 2016 with pre-tax profits rising to $293.2m from $284.0m in 2015. The return on equity for the year to the end of December was 18% (2015: 19%).

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD), down 7.56% to 165p, has warned FY revenues would be below forecasts and announced that Everpower had agreed to make a strategic investment in the company of £3.26m to acquire a 9.9% stake.

Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG), down 6.83% to 37.5p, has reported an increase in average gas production to 7.64mmscf/d in Q4 2016, from 7.14mmscf/d a year ago, in the three months ended Dec. 31, 2012.

Premier African Minerals (PREM), up 5.56% to 0.48p, has received a notice of exercise by Darwin Capital Ltd to convert a further 24 loan notes with an aggregate par value of £600,000 into equity in relation to the convertible loan note.

Marlowe (MRL), up 5.26% to 400p, has acquired BBC Fire Protection Ltd for £4.1m on a cash and debt-free basis.

Johnston Press (JPR), up 3.17% to 16.25p, said trading for FY 2016 was broadly in line with the directors' views, with strong margins, improved circulation for i and good progress against strategic priorities. Total revenues - after the benefit of the i newspaper - fell 6%.

AdEPT Telecom (ADT), up 2.36% to 325p, has signed a £30m five-year year revolving credit facility and agreed to acquire Our IT Department Ltd, and its trading subsidiary Brightvisions.

Premier Oil (PMO), down 2.32% to 84.25p, has announced a proposed refinancing, with agreement of representatives of its private lenders to a long-form term sheet, subject to credit approvals.

Other stocks in the news included Zoopla Property Group (ZPLA), Vislink (VIS), Smart Metering Systems (SMS), Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV), Anpario (ANP), Atalaya (ATYM), Ryanair (RYA), Coretx (COR) and Foresight Solar Fund Ltd (FSFL).