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Market movers: BHP Billiton, HSBC, Dixons Carphone, Hightex, Solo Oil, Rose Petroleum …

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London’s blue chips struggled to shrug off rouble volatility as the Russian currency continued to fluctuate wildly. 

FTSE 100 was down 40 points in early deals retracing some of yesterday’s gains that saw the index close up 2.4% at 6,331.

Russia’s finance ministry has started selling foreign currency reserves to prop up the rouble, adding to major price swings as the price of oil showed no signs of picking up. 

Brent crude stayed below US$59 a barrel after slipping below the $60 mark yesterday for the first time since July 2009. 

Oil proxies BG (LON:BG.) dipped 10p to 817p and Petrofac (LON:PFC) 17p to 670p. 

Shares in BHB Billiton (LON:BLT) were down 13p to 1,305 as Deutsche Bank and Liberum Capital both put out downgrades on the stock. 

Liberum was more bullish on Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and it was the only miner trading higher, up by 21p, as the broker went from ‘sell’ to ‘hold’.

Banks were lower with HSBC (LON:HSBA) off 8p to 595p and Barclays (LON:BARC) down 3p to 226p. 

Supermarkets were also among the losers with Tesco (LON:TSCO) and Sainsbury (LON:SRBY) both 0.5% and 1% lower respectively.  

Dixons Carphone (LON:DC.) was one of the few FTSE 100 stocks rising after maiden interim results.

The newly merged group saw like-for-like revenues rise by 5% alongside a bullish outlook that indicated savings of £80mln would come through earlier than expected.

On AIM, Hightex (LON:HITG) saw its shares shoot up 160% after German courts approved bankruptcy protection for its subsidiary, Hightex GmbH.

Solo Oil (LON:SOLO) gained 13% as it received clearance to purchase a stake in Aminex’s (LON:AEX) Kiliwani North Development Licence (KNDL).

Shares in Polo Resources (LON:POL) were up by 12% as final results showed a strengthening of its balance sheet and improved cash reserves.

Rose Petroleum (LON:ROSE) has started completion work on the State 16-42 Paradox well in Utah, its first step to establishing production in the US. Shares were 7% higher. 

EFK Diagnostics (LON:EKF) wasn’t doing so well as it said final results will fall below expectations. Shares dropped 17% to 22p. 

Central Rand Gold (LON:CRND) lost 13% on plans to raise £1mln by issuing 5mln new shares.

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