FTSE 100 treads water


The morning’s gains have dissipated, leaving Footsie slightly in the red.

Despite the strength of Footsie’s mining contingent, the top-share index is off three points at 6,479.

Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) is on the rise after Numis upgraded the stock to ‘hold’ from ‘reduce’ while fellow miner Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) is the top performing blue-chip after the same broker upgraded the stock to ‘buy’ from the slightly less effusive ‘add’.

Power systems developer Rolls-Royce (LON:RR.) climbs 1% after Norwegian Airlines selected Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines for nine additional leased Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Vodafone (LON:VOD) is down 2% as Japanese broker Nomura downgraded the mobile phones network operator to ‘reduce’ from ‘neutral’.

Outside of the top tier, New British Palm Oil (LON:NBPO) rockets 75% higher to 680p after Sime Darby unveiled a 715p per share cash offer for the company.

Sable Mining (LON:SBLM) adds a quarter to its market value after updating on its high-grade Nimba iron ore project in south-east Guinea.

With the original planned drilling programme finished there is currently no activity on site and therefore the company is not experiencing any delays as a result of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Sable’s current cash position of US$11.3mln means it is fully financed to complete the bankable feasibility study.

ITM Power (LON:ITM) released a well-received trading update a couple of days ago and is on the rise again today, up 15%, as it flagged up the £11mln investment by the government to set up an initial network of up to 15 hydrogen refuelling stations by the end of 2015.

The first well on the US$65 million contract for Essar Oil in India has been spud by Greka Drilling (LON:GDL), it told investors, who hailed the news and sent shares up 12.36%, making the company one of the biggest gainers on Footsie.

The well in the Raniganj East Block in West Bengal was started by the GD75-17 rig and is currently at a depth of 435 metres with drilling continuing.

Beacon Hill (LON:BHP) is 12% higher after signing an agreement to sub-lease its rolling stock to an unnamed party.

Engineer Hayward Tyler (LON:HAYT) continues to blossom, with shares up 6.8% after it revealed it had won contracts for the energy and nuclear markets worth more than £10mln last month.

New contracts signed in the first half now stand at £27.6 million. That's 7% ahead of the same period last year and ahead of internal targets for the first half, the firm told investors.

IGas (LON:IGAS) surges almost 6% after it said civil construction at the Ellesmere Port exploration site is complete and the company confirmed it expects to start drilling a vertical well next month.

Utility metering specialist Cyan Holdings’ (LON:CYAN) dial moves 5% higher as it revealed its executive chairman, John Cronin, will participate in a round table event with P K Sinha, India’s Secretary of Ministry of Power, on 15 October 2014.

On the downside, Gresham Computer (LON:GHT) sheds almost one-third of its value after a profit warning.

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