FTSE lower as miners, financials, ex-divs bite

London equities have slunk lower in early deals as traders continue to brew over a potential Tory-led 'hard Brexit,' with a string of ex-dividend issues also acting as ballast.

Miners led the blue-chip pack south, with plenty of financials studded among them. Rio Tinto (RIO) plunged 4.4% to 2588.5p, with BHP Billiton (BLT) lower 4.38% to 1184.25p.

Anglo American (AAL) noted a Kumba Iron Ore subsidiary has been granted the residual 21.4% undivided share of the mining right for the Sishen mine.

Standard Life (SL.) led insurers south with a slide of 4.74% to 332.35p, while investment specialist Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) lost 3.07% to 1199p despite reporting a rise in AUA.

Banks traced RBS (RBS), off 2.66% to 172.2p. Also down were multiple supermarkets behind Tesco (TSCO), lower 2.12% to 196.93p and airlines after easyJet (EZJ), off 1.45% to 884.5p.

Mondi (MNDI), down 3.05% to 1605.5p, expects to benefit from stable to higher selling prices in a number of key product segments as it moves into 2017 following the downward pressure seen over the course of 2016.

Unilever (ULVR), down 1.92% to 3652p, has reported nine-month underlying sales growth of 4.2%, ahead of its markets, with price up 2.8% and volume up 1.3%.

Overall, 68 blue chips lost traction, about 30 of these by 1% or more. Winners were piloted by house builders and utilities. Persimmon (PSN) added 1.83% to 1722p, while United Utilities (UU.) rose 1.56% to 929.25p.

Sky (SKY), up 0.78% to 871.25p, said its Q1 sales rising 13% to £3.15bn, or up 5% on a like-for-like basis. "We are on track as we enter our busy Q2 trading period."

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 56.71 points, or 0.81%, to 6967.3, with the FTSE 250 lower 102.46, or 0.57%, to 17,853.8.


Sula Iron & Gold (SULA), up 19.05% to 0.13p, has conditionally raised $400,000 gross via a subscription for 304.6m new shares at 0.1p per subscription share.

CloudBuy (CBUY), up 16.67% to 6.12p, has signed an agreement with UOB a leading bank in Asia for its marketplace technology to power a new online marketplace for UOB customers.

GoldStone Resources (GRL), down 14.44% to 1.93p, said a former director and employee has made a claim in The Labour Court of South Africa relating to the termination of his employment. The sum sought would represent a significant proportion of Goldstone's cash resources.


Coats Group (COA), up 11.85% to 37.75p, expects its adjusted FY operating profit to be ahead of its previous views. Additionally, improvements to non-operating items will further benefit adjusted EPS, providing current foreign exchange rates persist until the end of the year.

Crimson Tide (TIDE), up 11.5% to 3.15p, has signed its most significant long term contract with a large UK retailer. The contract value is worth over £1.7m of additional revenue over an initial term of 48 months.

Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ), down 9.52% to 19p, has provided an operations and production update from its Gedabek gold, copper and silver mine in western Azerbaijan for the three months to Sept. 30, 2016.

Scholium (SCHO), down 9.21% to 34.5p, said its H1 sales were materially below the level achieved last year, however at a significantly increased margin, as a result of which directors expect a small loss.

DekelOil Public (DKL), down 3.41% to 10.63p, has issued a production and sales update for the quarter ended 30 September 2016. Ideagen (IDEA), up 3.6% to 57.5p, said that over the past month it has been awarded three important contracts with new customers in key vertical markets worth a combined value of £1.2m.

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD), up 3.48% to 208p, said subsidiary Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd has appointed 3DFilaPrint as its distributor of its graphene enhanced 3D Printing PLA filaments in the UK and Eire.

Vianet Group (VNET), up 2.12% to 96.5p, said H1 trading for its continuing businesses was ahead of the same period last year, achieving good growth in line with the directors' expectations.

Iofina (IOF), up 1.96% to 13p, said it produced 125.1 metric tonnes (MT) of crystalline iodine in Q3 2016, and has produced 380.7 MT year to date from its five IOsorb plants in Oklahoma.

Other stocks in the news included Polo Resources (POL), Versarien (VRS), Collagen Solutions (COS), Kolar Gold (KGLD), WH Smith (SMWH) and ICAP (IAP).