FTSE surges higher on miners amid Brexit concerns

London stocks were heading north on opening, with blue chips guided by a string of miners, supermarkets, retailers and financials and chronic Brexit concerns.

The export-rich UK stock market is again continuing its generally chipper run higher as sterling tanks on Brexit concerns.

Traders will focus on a High Court case linked to PM Theresa May's rights to trigger Article 50, and also developments concerning a possible second Scotland independence referendum.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 43.4 points, or 0.62%, to 7021.14 and FTSE 250 was up 80.85, or 0.45%, to 17,958. At 8.34am, WTI crude was up 0.99% to $50.94/bbl and Brent was up 0.5% to $52.29/bbl. Gold was down 0.1% to $1256.3/oz.

Rio Tinto (RIO) guided miners up with a 2.8% surge to 2648.25p, and was chased by Anglo American (AAL), up 2.49% to 1015.25p, and BHP Billiton (BLT), ahead 2.24% to 1210.5p.

Tesco (TSCO) led a string of supermarkets higher, adding 2.48% to 199.93p, while Burberry (BRBY) guided high-street retail with a 1.9% acceleration to 1528.5p.

Also up were lenders HSBC (HSBA), rising 1.45% to 617.75p, and Standard Chartered (STAN), ahead 1.49% to 650.85p. Several insurers, investment specialists, utilities and airlines sortied higher, too.

Provident Financial (PFG), down 0.39% to 3067p, said it has continued to perform well and produced a third-quarter profit performance in line with its internal plans.

Blue-chip risers outnumbered fallers 79 to 21, with about 22 up by 1% or more.

Gold-sensitive miners Fresnillo (FRES), down 1.05% to 1648.5p, and Randgold (RRS), off 0.46% to 6997.5p, were retreating. Leisure and pharma stocks also tended lower.

BIGGER MOVERS

Independent Resources (IRG), up 17.02% to 1.38p, has entered into a loan agreement for an unsecured loan of up to £340,000 with Brandon Hill Capital Ltd, an existing shareholder and debt holder in the Company.

DiamondCorp (DCP), up 16.67% to 1.93p, said a third party has quit from talks about a convertible-debt facility due to its share price. DCP is in accelerated talks with certain shareholders over securing necessary additional funding of about £0.5m, without which it is unlikely to be able to continue trading as a going concern.

Grafenia (GRA), down 13.58% to 8.75p, said whilst post-Brexit vote trading was difficult, the improvement since the summer and the encouraging increase in the number of Nettl and printing.com Brand Partners, means that, provided trading continues to improve, market expectations remain achievable.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Man Group (EMG), up 12.6% to 122.4p, is to acquire Aalto Invest Holding AG and launched Man Global Private Markets, forming the firm's private markets offering. It also said funds under management rose 6% to $80.7bn during the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $76.4bn at June 30.

Milestone (MSG), up 6.56% to 1.63p, announces the launch of its unique Alchemy digital media platform and the commencement of its first social impact fundraising campaign, the Metropolitan Police's Divert scheme.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM), up 5.08% to 155p, has secured its first production order and commercial application.

Elegant Hotels Group (EHG), down 2.24% to 65.5p, expects its FY results will be in line with market expectations.

Consort Medical (CSRT), up 2.21% to 1132.5p, said that Bespak has entered into a master development agreement including key commercial supply terms with a leading global biopharmaceutical company.

Carclo (CAR), down 1.85% to 125.88p, continues to trade well in the current financial year and its trading performance remains in line with directors' expectations for the year ending 31 March 2017. Carlco also said US subsidiary CTP Carrera Inc has acquired Precision Tool & Molding LLC.

ITM Power (ITM), up 1.73% to 22.38p, has signed a fuel contract, selling hydrogen at £10/kg, with Arval (BNP Paribas Group) a global leader in car and van leasing.

Other stocks in the news included Quadrise Fuels International (QFI), Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX), KazMunaiGas (KMG), Weatherly (WTI), Inland Homes (INL), DCC (DCC), Shanks (SKS), Telit (TCM), Ashmore (ASHM) and Ambrian (AMBR).