FTSE softens ahead of UK inflation data

London stocks are softening in early deals as investors look to a bundle of UK inflation data due out mid-morning, with Rolls-Royce (RR.) and TUI AG (TUI) in particular focus.

Rolls-Royce (RR.) fell 1.62% to 728p as its reported FY pretax loss came in at £4.64bn, from a year-ago profit of £160m. Total dividend was 11.7p a share, from 16.4p.

Key blue-chip sectors lower included retail-related, house builders and pharmas, among the roughly 72 top-100 stocks lower. Burberry (BRBY) dropped 1.19% to 1617.5p, while Barratt Developments (BDEV) faded 1.12% to 507.75p and Astrazeneca (AZN) faltered 1.09% to 4599.75p.

Also lower were a posse of insurers after Prudential (PRU), lower 0.77% to 1609.5p, along with a sprinkling of miners behind Anglo American (AAL), down 1.53% to 1388p.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 22.21 points, or 0.31%, to 7256.71. FTSE 250 was down 51.96, or 0.28%, to 18,706.8. Several supermarkets and commercial property stocks fell, too.

At 8.35am, WTI crude was up 0.34% to $53.11/bbl and Brent was up 0.43% to $55.83/bbl. Gold was up 0.33% to $1229.8/oz, with the prices of silver and copper also firming.

To the limited upside, leader TUI AG (TUI), rising 3.24% to 1194.5p, swung to a Q1 underlying EBITDA of €29.8m, from a year earlier restated loss of €7.5m. Current trading was in line.

The leisure-sector outfit was followed by a several miners, utilities, insurers and banks.

BIGGER MOVERS

Veltyco Group (VLTY) rose 22.54% to 43.5p on confirming December trading continued to be strong. It sees its FY results significantly ahead of market expectations with net revenues and adjusted operating EBITDA more than doubling.

Altitude (ALT), down 20.11% to 71.5p, expects its FY results to be marginally ahead of market forecasts due to tight control of costs. Annualised cost reductions of about £1.8m, resulting from the significant restructuring of the group, were realised during the year.

Halosource (HALO) added 18.18% to 1.62p on news it had succeeded in pilot-scale production of a filtration media that was expected to be the class-leading lead reduction media for gravity-cartridge applications.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Sunrise Resources (SRES), down 16.13% to 0.13p, advises that EP Minerals LLC has given notice to the company, terminating its lease of the County Line Diatomite claims in Nevada.

Strat Aero (AERO), down 14.81% to 0.12p, has raised £850,000 via a placing of 850m new shares at 0.1p each. In addition, certain directors and a director of a subsidiary company were subscribing for 250m shares at 0.1p each in settlement of outstanding compensation and expenses accrued since 2015.

Getech (GTC), up 7.23% to 44.5p, has been awarded a contract by the UK's Oil and Gas Authority in collaboration with the 21st Century Roadmap Technical Advisory Committee, for a petroleum system related study of the UK Continental Shelf South West Approaches region.

Sylvania Platinum (SLP), up 6.52% to 12.25p, has improved its H1 pretax profit to $6.7m, from $0.8m a year earlier, in what it penned as an excellent period. Revenue improved to $24.6m, from $18.5m.

RWS Holdings (RWS), up 5.91% to 358.25p, is proposing the acquisition of 100% of LUZ Inc for cash consideration of $82.5m, part funded by a £40m placing at 330p a share. RWS also said Q1 profits were comfortably ahead of management's expectations.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD), up 5.26% to 5p, is pleased with results from the blast at Kareevlei, its licence area in the Northern Cape of South Africa containing five known kimberlite pipes.

Electric Word (ELE), up 3.57% to 3.63p, posted a FY group profit of £9.2m, compared with a £2.3m loss in 2015. The results included a £10.7m profit (2015: £1.8m loss) from discontinued operations.

Spectris (SXS), up 2.89% to 2494p, said its FY pretax profit has tumbled to £31.9m, from £141.6m, as a raft of impairments, adjustments and amortisations weighed heavily on operating profit. Dividend was 52p a share, from 49.5p a year ago.

Other stocks in the news included SRT Marine Systems (SRT), Pebble Beach Systems Group (PEB), SolGold (SOLG), Horizon Discovery Group (HZD), LiDCO Group (LID), Allergy Therapeutics (AGY), Keras Resources (KRS) and Mariana Resources (MARL).