Footsie is flat in early deals with miners pushing the markets in one direction and financials and defensives dragging it the other.
Amongst the major risers so far are miners Randgold Resources, Lonmin, Xstrata, Kazakhmys, Rio Tinto, Fresnillo and Vedanta Resources. the big fallers are RSA Insurance Group, Barclays and Prudential.
M&S is higher on reports that it will appoint head-hunters to find its new chief executive next year, replacing Sir Stuart Rose.
HMV reported a 1.8% drop in total like-for-like sales in the 18 week period since the end of April in what the entertainment media group called a tough consumer environment. Separately, the group today announced that it is acquiring a 50% equity stake in digital media company 7digital for £7.7m in cash.
Premier Farnell said second quarter sales fell 17% although the rate of sales decline in Europe and Asia Pacific has abated. Revenue fell to £183.7m during the second quarter ended 2 August 2009 from £195.8m the same period a year before. Underlying profit before tax slumped 41% to £10.7m.
McBride's private-label products helped the personal care products supplier to post a rise in profits for the year. Pre-tax profit rose to £22.2m from £15.7m before on revenue that increased 13% to £792.4m
Recruitment group Hays posted a sharp fall in profits in the year to June 30 and said it was seeing no signs of recovery. Pre-tax profits for the year slid to £151m from £264.4m as revenues fell to £670.8m from £786.8m. The firm retained its full-year dividend at 5.8p.
Rail and bus group Go-Ahead said it was pleased to report results slightly ahead of its expectations in June despite profits more than halving. Pre-tax profit fell to £42m against £103.1m last year due to higher costs and exceptional charges. Revenue increased 6.7% to £2,346.1m primarily due to a full year of London Midland and Gatwick Express rail revenue
Housebuilder Bovis said it plans to raise approximately £60m in the sale of 10% or around 12.1m ordinary shares to pay for land purchases.
Swedish firm Tricorona said it has decided not to proceed with an offer for Irish carbon credit company EcoSecurities, which is currently considering the terms of the revised offer from Dutch firm Guanabara Holdings.