FTSE an ace higher as Brexit remains centre stage

London stocks were an ace higher in early deals, weighed by a string of ex-dividend issues, after gains on Wall St and in Asia overnight.

Brexit, sterling's weakness and the FTSE's recent vault ahead remain the key areas of focus for investors.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 0.78 points, or 0.01%, to 7034.03 and FTSE 250 was up 13.47, or 0.07%, to 18,214.0. At 8.29am, WTI crude was down 0.58% to $49.54/bbl and Brent was down 0.52% to $51.59/bbl. Gold was down 0.13% to $1267/bbl.

Blue-chip risers and fallers were roughly evenly split. Most share-price moves were muted.

RBS (RBS) added 2.8% to 188.95p to lead financials higher. In its wake were Barclays (BARC), ahead 1.12% to 174.38p, Prudential (PRU), rising 1% to 1442.25p, Lloyds (LLOY), up 0.99% to 55.24p, and Old Mutual (OML), gaining 0.93% to 207.2p. More financials followed.

Also lower were leisure, pharmas and consumer goods. To the downside, supermarkets and utilities were in focus. Smith & Nephew (SN.) dropped 2.49% to 1233.5p, while Tesco (TSCO) faded 2.09% to 202.78p.

easyJet (EZJ) flew 7.08% lower to 932p as it reported record passenger numbers and higher load factors in summer trading. It achieved a strong pretax profit despite major external shock events and disruption.


Tengri Resources (TEN), up 154% to 4.12p after it raised £100,000 at 5p a share for administrative expenses and to seek a reverse takeover deal. It was also in advanced talks about repayment of outstanding loan notes held by Robust Resources. It also proposed a £650,000 convertible loan funding.

President Energy (PPC), down 44.52% to 6.38p, has been forced to temporarily suspend well DP1002 S/T so that the Drilling Rig can be mobilised to the company's neighbour for drilling their well.

SRT Marine Systems (SRT), down 11.36% to 39p, said H1 revenues were £2.7m, resulting in a loss before tax of £1.2m and a cash balance of £1.8m as at Sept. 30.

Shares in Noricum Gold (NMG) were up substantially after a one-for-100 share consolidation.


Nottinghamshire County Council has deferred a decision on the IGas Energy (IGAS) planning application for exploration at Springs Road in order to consider a late legal representation. The meeting is now expected to reconvene on 15 November. IGas shares rose 10.42% to 13.25p.

WANdisco (WAND), down 7.37% to 207.5p, said David Richards has been reappointed to the board and as CEO and interim chair. WANdisco said chair Paul Walker and non-executive director Ian Duncan have stepped down with immediate effect.

Firestone Diamonds (FDI), up 3.57% to 50.75p, has confirmed that all major construction activities are now complete at its Liqhobong diamond mine in Lesotho. Safestay (SSTY), up 2.35% to 43.5p, has confirmed a significant new planning consent has been granted to extend Safestay London Elephant & Castle.

Ithaca Energy (IAE), up 3.6% to 72p, said its output averaged 9550 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first nine months to the year, up on the 9000 boepd guidance. Average production during the third quarter was approximately 9900 boepd.

DFS Furniture (DFS), up 1.85% to 283.15p, reports record financial results and positive operational progress in 52 weeks to 30 July. Pretax profit was £64.5 million, from £33.3 million.

SVG Capital (SVI), down 0.67% to 666p, has agreed the key terms of a proposed sale of its portfolio for about £748m, versus a value of £802m at July 31. This proposed sale would be to funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management's Alternative Investments & Manager Selection Group and certain investment entities managed by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Other stocks in the news included Parity Group (PTY), Liontrust Asset Management (LIO), RedT Energy (REDT), Empresaria (EMR), Morses Club (MCL), Custodian REIT (CREI), Scotgold Resources (SGZ), Imperial Innovations (IVO), Focusrite (TUNE) and Bacanora Minerals (BCN).