Ftse sideways as boe hold rates, qe _ interactive investor

London equities traded sideways to midday, with a marginal negative bias, as Bank of England held its benchmark interest rate at 0.5% and QE at GBP375bn. Resources outfits fell despite a rise in crude prices, and glum housing data hurt residential property firms.

BoE’s decisions were widely anticipated by the market, as were the unanimous decisions by the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee.

Burberry (BRBY), off 6.77% to 1254p, warned FY 2017 adjusted pretax profit would be around the bottom of analysts’ views. Persimmon (PSN) fell 4.35% to 1933p despite a chipper update, also hurt by the property data, which saw Berkeley (BKG) and Barratt (BDEV) down 2.17%-3.59%.

Anglo American (AAL) led miners with a fall of 2.95% to 688.4p, traders taking profits on it and multiple sector pals. Randgold (RRS) dropped 2.62% to 6597.5p. Among oilies, BP (BP.) faded 0.9% to 362.15p on concerns of a shareholder revolt over its CEO’s pay.

Approaching noon, FTSE 100 was down 3.16 points, or 0.05%, to 6359.73. FTSE 250 was down 37.29, or 0.22%, to 17,010.7. At 11.42am, WTI crude was at USD41.73/bbl. Brent was at USD44.14/bbl. Gold was at USD1241/oz. Key indices in Europe were mixed.

Blue-chip risers and fallers were roughly evenly split. Several banks and insurers slipped south, but northbound were a string of leisure and pharma stocks.

Utilities, supermarkets and retail figured on both sides of the ledger. Outside the top 100, Poundland (PLND), down 2.96% to 143.13p, said it would deliver pretax profits broadly in line with current market views.

BIGGER MOVERS

RusPetro (RPO), down 83.43% to 0.7p, has narrowed its FY pretax loss to USD108.7m, from a loss of USD263.4m. Revenue was lower, and it recorded forex losses of USD57.2m, from USD202.4m. It is proposing delisting and re-registering as a private limited company.

Weatherly International (WTI), up 60% to 0.8p, said it was very pleased with the consistent production from Tschudi during Q3. Tschudi delivered Q3 production of 4442 tonnes, which was 4% above its nameplate output rate of 17,000 a year.

Gulf Keystone (GKP), down 28.14% to 5.03p, has issued more details on possible interim investment scenarios to build a foundation for stakeholder talks on itsneed for near-term fundraising, upcoming debt obligations and possible restructuring of its balance sheet.

ECONOMIC NEWS

UK house prices are set to cool down, a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has shown. Its monthly house price balance ebbed to a nine-month low of +42, from +50 in February. A print of +51 was expected.

Euro zone’s final consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation, came in at 0.0% for March, which was below forecasts for a dip of 0.1%. Core final CPI was at 1.0%, in line with views.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Mothercare (MTC), down 18.17% to 154.25p, issued a disappointing Q4 update. It flagged some progress with the UK turnaround, but the international arm continues to suffer from economic and currency headwinds, with consumer confidence weakening in the Middle East and China.

Eland Oil and Gas (ELA), up 16.2% to 26p, has started workover operations on the Opuama-3 well. It said canal access clearing operations have been completed, providing the required access to the Opuama-3 wellhead.

Renold (RNO), up 12.86% to 39.5p, expects its underlying adjusted return on sales will be maintained at 8.6%, flat on the year. Adjusted operating profit would be ahead of current market views of GBP13.5m.

Connemara (CON), up 10.71% to 2.33p, has issued further assay results for Inishowen. The results at depth are supported by surface sampling results where galena and pyrite bearing quartz boulders in the vicinity of the drill hole locations have returned values up to 70g/t and 46.8g/t silver. A 10cm quartz galena vein in outcrop returned 572g/t Silver and 19% lead.

Hays (HAS), up 8.94% to 135.2p, has reported net fee income growth of 4% at constant currencies. Q3 trading remained on track to deliver a debt-free balance sheet in the near-term.

Petards (PEG), up 8.49% to 14.38p, said Q1 2016 trading is slightly ahead of management’s expectations with both revenues and results being above those for the same period in 2015. Havelock Europa (HVE), up 4.08% to 12.75p, has booked a FY pretax loss of GBP2.68m, from a year-ago loss of GBP5.77m. Revenue was lower. It described the year as challenging.

Stock Spirits (STCK), up 6.47% to 154.38p, said its total revenue for the period Jan. 1 to March 31 rose 29% to 55.3m euros. Operating profit was 6.3m euros, from a loss of 4.2m euros. Sierra Rutile (SRX), down 7.37% to 22p, has successfully raised USD20.0mby way of a placing of 70.05m new shares with both new and existing institutional investors.

Metal Tiger (MTR), up 5.06% to 4.68p, said drilling continues at the Kalahari Copper Belt, Botswana, and that it was building knowledge of the subsurface very proactively. Investors can expect a regular stream of news from Botswana over the coming weeks and months.

Debenhams (DEB), up 3.34% to 79.93p, has booked an H1 pretax profit of GBP93.8m, from GBP88.9m. Group statutory revenue was at GBP1,327m, from GBP1,325m. It hiked its interim dividend by 2.5% to 1.025p a share, from 1.0p.

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