The FTSE 100 drifted 3.5 points lower on Friday to 5,866; ARM Holdings was the biggest gainer, up +1.5% while Burberry shares gave up previous gains to sink -2.2%.

Overnight in Asia most major indices saw slight gains - thanks in part to better Chinese manufacturing numbers - with the Nikkei climbing +0.13%.


A quiet day for corporate numbers. We commence with Polymetal and an update from its mineral resources operation in Albazino, in the Khabarovsk region of Russia.

Polymetal says mineral resources as of 1 August were thought to be in the 37Mt region with an average grade of 4.8g/t of gold (Au) containing 5.7Moz of Au compared to previous estimate of half this amount

As of January 1st, resources were predicted to be 19Mt at 4.5 g/t Au containing 2.8 Moz of Au. The results "highlight the tremendous potential of this asset and pave the way for the expansion decision to be taken in the second half of 2013," said Vitaly Nesis, CEO of Polymetal.

Next, Stagecoach says Greater Manchester Buses East Limited, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Stagecoach, has completed the acquisition of the Wigan bus business and assets from First Manchester Limited.

Stagecoach takes on an extra 300 employees, more than 100 vehicles, plus leased premises from Wigan Bus Station.

Stagecoach meanwhile is set to unveil interim numbers later this week; it's thought the current West Coast franchise travails will not materially hit the numbers from the Perth company.

Lastly, HSBC is set to seek a chunk of sub-prime loan portfolios worth around $2.7bn, the Telegraph reports. It's thought the move heralds the start of a move to eventually rid itself of more than $40bn of toxic debt held by the bank.

Hedge fund managers have expressed interest in buying the loans as money-making opportunities to profit from the sale have increased.

Recently HSBC was in line to take over RBS' Indian business's net assets. However RBS will now be forced to shut down its Indian operations by itself after HSBC backed out of the move.

Breaking news: News International boss Tom Mockride is to quit his job at the end of the month.