Ftse 100 stocks end softer as pound remains lowly

Extending the previous day’s wholesale sell-off, the blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.15% at 6807, led lower by Standard Chartered ( LON:STAN) down 2.5% at 610.1p. Tenderingssee dinslaken The Asia-focused bank came under investigation from the US Department of Justice over alleged misconduct on the part of management at the Indonesian power company controlled by the lender.

According to the Wall Street Journal, an internal audit at Maxpower Group and a separate review conducted by a law firm hired by the Asian firm had discovered evidence of possible bribery and other misconduct.

Lingering worries about the future financial stability of Deutsche Bank ( NYSE:DB) after Berlin appeared to wash its hands of Germany’s biggest lender on Monday, also took banks down.

Market vagaries dented the stock prices of the second and third biggest FTSE 100 fallers on Tuesday. Competitive tendering definition Crude oil was back in the red, with Brent down 3.5% at $45.68 a barrel, after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister cast doubt on the chances of a deal emerging from this week’s meeting of big oil producers in Algiers.

At one point in the session the worst performer on the FTSE 100, plumbing and building supplies firm Wolseley ( LON:WOS), managed to dig out of a hole but still ended down 1.3% at 4244p after announcing plans to close 80 branches and cut 800 UK jobs.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 index ended down 0.5% at 17,628 with challenger bank Aldermore Group plc ( LON:ALD) leading the losers, down 4.5% at 166.9p on no fresh news after broker Royal Bank of Canada upped the share price target on Friday.

But who would come to the rescue of motor recovery giant AA (LON:AA)? The stock was the second-biggest mid-cap faller of 4% to 285p ahead of releasing its quarterly earnings on Wednesday.


The top gainer was Sareum ( LON:SAR) up 136% to 1.475p its co-investment partner the CRT Pioneer Fund has licensed exclusive and worldwide rights to its cancer drug, the Chk1 inhibitor cancer drug candidate CCT245737 (to be renamed PNT737) to ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. What is competitive tendering in procurement ( NASDAQ:DNAI).

Meanwhile, Xcite Energy ( LON:XEL) shares were down 42% to 1.25p after the firm said it is concluding negotiations with its principal bondholders to finalise the restructuring of its secured bonds issued by Xcite Energy Resources plc.

While building materials provider Wolseley PLC ( LON:WOS) remained the worst performing blue-chip, banks were also weighing on the top-share index as concerns over the future of Deutsche Bank mount.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC ( LON:RBS) was down 3%, while Standard Chartered PLC ( LON:STAN) and Barclays PLC (LON:PLC) were off 2.4% and 1.7% respectively.

Although not a FTSE 100 stock, package tour operator Thomas Cook Group PLC ( LON:TCG) cast a shadow over airlines groups International Consolidated Airlns Grp SA ( LON:IAG) and EasyJet PLC ( LON:EZJ).

The tour operator blamed lower demand for holidays in Turkey for a downbeat profit forecast that sent shares 2.65 lower to 68.15p. Procurement and tendering for construction projects IAG and easyJet, meanwhile, fell 1.7% and 1.6% respectively, on further bad news for the travel industry, following hot on the heels that Monarch Airlines has been saved from collapse by an emergency cash injection.

In the world of small caps, Sareum Holdings Plc ( LON:SAR) was setting the pace, surging 150% to 0.96p after it revealed US drugs firm ProNAi Therapeutics had licensed Sareum’s cancer drug candidate, CCT245737.

The ChK1 or checkpoint kinase 1 inhibitor is shown to prevent cancer cells from multiplying by attacking its faulty DNA, meaning the cancer self-destructs.

The information technology and communications services provider issued a profit warning, blaming post-Brexit poll disruption for hitting business in the middle of the year, though it said new business performance recovered well in August.

The FTSE 100 was up just 15 points at 6,833 shortly after 9.00am, with plumbers’ merchant Wolseley PLC ( LON:WOS) weighing down the index after it revealed it would be shedding 800 jobs in the UK as a result of closing 80 branches.

“ Wolseley’s FY [full-year] results were a little behind estimates, and management has warned of a slow start to [fiscal] 2017; however, the announced UK restructuring is welcome, and should generate good returns once complete,” suggested Liberum Capital Markets.

“Consensus estimates are likely to fall today, but the long term market leading position of the US business remains unchallenged. What is tendering process We would look to use pronounced weakness as a buying opportunity,” the broker said.

Countering Wolseley’s fall was cruises operator Carnival PLC ( LON:CCL), up 2.5% on further reflection on yesterday afternoon’s third quarter results.

Away from the blue-chips, Redx Pharma Plc ( LON:REDX) continued its September resurgence, rising 19% to 60.65p after in vivo (in living organisms) testing confirmed that its novel compounds were highly effective against certain drug resistant strains of bacteria.

Rising faster still was “lift music” provider Immedia Group PLC ( LON:IME) after it announced a “significant, three year contract” with a major UK retailer.

Shares in the company, which has former Radio One disc jockey Bruno Brookes as its chief executive officer, shot to the top with a 24.2% rise.

Things were not so poptastic for sector peer Cellcast plc ( LON:CLTV), which produces and distributes participatory television formats across various digital platforms.

“Whilst demand for our core interactive broadcast revenues in the UK continued to decline, we are encouraged to have commenced revenue generation from our new consulting operations in the gaming and gambling sectors in emerging markets,” said chief executive Andrew Wilson, as the company announced a slump in half-year pre-tax profits to £77,989 from £255,642 the year before.

In the resources sector Sovereign Mines of Africa PLC ( LON:SMA) advanced 22% on the back of interim results, while the half-year update from Baron Oil PLC ( LON:BOIL) sent the energy firm 16% higher.

Point of sale, payment and on-line loyalty systems developer Universe Group plc ( LON:UNG) found the market hard to please as it announced a 9.5% year-on-year increase in half-year adjusted earnings.

The fly in the ointment was delays that have arisen as products have moved through the final phases of being made ready for client requirements. What is tendering process in procurement This has had the effect of extending schedules and delaying roll-outs.

Spread betting quotes indicate the top-share index will open at around 6,862, up 48 points from last night’s close, after Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton appeared to trump her Republican opponent in the televised debate.

Futures prices on US stock indices headed higher in the wake of the debate, while on the betting exchange Betfair, the odds on Clinton following her husband into the White House shortened, which saw the candidates establish clear differences in US tax policies.

Trump, not surprisingly, was in favour of big tax cuts and in reducing US corporation tax, in an attempt to deter them from moving their headquarters abroad.

Clinton, also not surprisingly, declared she would raise taxes for the rich and close tax loopholes that allowed massively wealthy companies to dodge paying their fair share of taxes.

Back in Blighty, the City will get another chance to gauge the health of the housing and construction market on Tuesday when Wolseley PLC ( LON:WOS) reports final results.

Oil prices were slightly softer this morning, with the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for November delivery trading nine cents lower at US$45.84 a barrel. Process of tendering in construction The European counterpart, Brent crude for November was off 17 cents at US$47.18 a barrel.

Sentiment was slightly soured by Iran apparently extinguishing any slim hopes of an agreement this week at the unofficial Opec meeting to cut back on production.

Iran has reiterated its intention to crank up output until it reaches 4.2mln barrels a day, which was the level it was at before the recently lifted sanctions were imposed on the company.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has said it would only support a cap on output increases if all the major players agreed not to increase production, so with Iran apparently not prepared to play ball, that extinguishes that pipe(line) dream.

The gold price was similarly subdued, with gold for December delivery down US$5.80, or 0.43%, at US$1,338.30 an ounce, giving back all of yesterday’s gains and more.

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