Latest market news

FTSE dalls as dollar, wane in 'Trump effect' hurt miners

London stocks closed lower as the so-called Trump effect waned alongside the dollar after US President Donald Trump failed to get his healthcare bill accepted by Congress.

Mining and oil heavyweights suffering in London as oil and copper prices sank and safety-favourite gold soared.

The FTSE 100 ended down 43.32 points, or 43.32%, to 7293.5. The FTSE 250 was down 80.43, or 0.42%, to 18,900.00. At 4.49pm, gold was up 0.42% to $1257.0/oz, while copper was down 1.79% to 258.4c/lb. WTI crude was down 0.46% to $47.75/bbl and Brent was down 0.08% to $50.76/bbl.

Falling industrial metals prices hurt miners Antofagasta (ANTO), down 4.7% to 791.5p, while Glencore (GLEN) dropped 4.38% to 305.75p. More under-pressure metals burrowers followed, with oilies Shell (RDSA), down 0.25% to 2077.75p, and BP (BP.), down 0.85% to 448.03p, following.

A string of financials followed lender Lloyds (LLOY), down 1.59% to 66.97p, and insurer Prudential (PRU), down 1.16% to 1701p. Commercial property was led lower by Land Securities (LAND), down 1.04% to 1044p.

Babcock Int'l (BAB) fell 4.31% to 877p on stating the Cavendish Fluor Partnership, in which it has a 65% stake, had come to a mutual agreement with the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to bring to an end the Magnox decommissioning contract at the end of August 2019, having operated the contract for a full five years.

In the news, BT (BT.A), down 0.21% to 324.95p, has been fined more than £42m following an Ofcom's investigation into the historical use of 'deemed consent' by the group's Openreach business.

Old Mutual (OML), down 2.09% to 217.85p, has agreed to sell a 24.95% shareholding in OM Asset Management (OMAM) to HNA Capital US in a two-step transaction for gross cash consideration of about $446m.

To the upside, several pharmas, utilities and house builders did well. Centrica (CNA) rose 1.43% to 219.5p, while Taylor Wimpey (TW.) ebbed 0.63% to 192.7p. Pharmas such as Shire (SHP), up 0.96% to 4721.5p, and Astrazeneca (AZN), up 0.95% to 4975.5p, did well as Trump's healthcare plans failing.

Meantime, Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to activate formal Brexit talks with the EU on Mar. 29. Nevertheless, the market is bracing itself for Brexit-linked volatility during the up to two-year negotations.

BIGGER MOVERS

SpaceandPeople (SAL), up 25.71% to 22p and off earlier highs, has posted a FY pretax loss of £225,000, down from a profit of £1.04m a year ago, in what it said was a challenging year, but importantly said it expected a return to sustainable profitability in 2017.

Falcon Acquisitions Ltd's (FAL), up 22.81% to 17.5p, shares have started trading on the London Stock Exchange's Main Market and the company has raised £4m through a placing to to support its rapid growth strategy.

Eqtec (EQT), down 15.22% to 4.88p, said H1 operating losses at the company, formerly REACT Energy, rose to €450,143, up from €117,693 last time. Revenues fell to €105,464, from €131,031, and the pretax loss of €748,003, up from €411,794.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Eurozone's M3 money supply was 4.7% in February, which was below the downwardly revised 4.8% previous and expected reading.

Germany's Ifo business confidence improved in March. The institute's index improved to 112.3, from 111.1 in February. A print of 111.2 was expected by the market.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Bushveld Minerals (BMN) rose 19.05% to 7.5p on news it had received an exercise notice for 1m warrants over ordinary shares at a price of 2.4p each. Trading Emissions (TRE) fell 15.66% to 1.75p as it reduced its H1 pretax loss to £203,000, from a loss of £336,000.

Beowulf Mining (BEM), down 12.66% to 8.63p, has completed an intense five week drilling programme at its Aitolampi prospect in Finland. Gama Aviation (GMAA), down 7.4% toi 206.5p, revenues rose 12.6% to a record $432.4m in the year to the end of December.

Exova (EXO), up 13.31% to 248p, has noted recent speculation and confirmed that it has received proposals from Element Materials Technology, Jacobs Holding AG and PAI Partners SAS regarding a possible cash offer for the company.

Premier African Minerals Ltd (PREM), down 11.54% to 0.58p, has successfully raised £2.01m in a 34% oversubscribed offer at 0.5p a share.

Quardrise Fuels (QFI), up 5.46% to 8.3p, has marginally widened its H1 pretax loss to £2.43m, from £2.35m. Revenue was £68,000, from £2000.

Sirius Petroleum (SRSP), down 4.79% to 0.8p, has executed a contract with Polaris Consulting Company, which has been engaged to undertake a Seabed Survey around the Ororo field licence area.

Circle Holdings (CIRC), up 4.05% to 22.50p, has won a five-year contract with Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group for the management and provision of musculoskeletal services in the borough.

GAN (GAN), up 3.42% to 30.25p, has launched Simulated Gaming for one of the longest-standing Native American casino operators in America at the Turning Stone Resort Casino property. Turning Stone Resort Casino is a major destination for residents of central New York State and has been operational since 1993.

Other stocks in the news included Galileo Resources (GLR), Inspired Energy (INSE), DP Poland (DPP), YouGov (YOU), Greencoat UK Wind (UKW), Wood Group (WG.), Amerisur (AMER), IMImobile (IMO), Trading Emissions (TRE) and Botswana Diamonds (BOD).