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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE mixed as pharmas, financials dent blue chips

28 April 2015 08:56

FTSE indices were mixed with blue chips led down by a mix of pharma and financial stocks. Investors are looking to UK GDP figures out midmorning. Wall St ended lower overnight, while Asian markets were mixed. Rexam (REX), BP (BP.) and Whitbread (WTB) were in the news.

Shortly after the open, FTSE 100 was down 26.5 points, or 0.37%, to 7077.48. FTSE 250 was up 3.02, or 0.02%, to 17,787.7. At 8.44am, WTI and Brent crude were respectively down 1.35% and 1.25%. Greece has reshuffled its debt renegotiation team, and markets are tentatively hoping for a compromise deal with lenders. Yemen fighting continued.

Pharma stocks led blue chips down. Astrazeneca (AZN) piloted with a 1.79% slide to 4621.5p. Shire (SHP), Glaxosmithkline (GSK) and Smith & Nephew (SN.) trailed. Financials lost, too. Aviva (AV.) fell 1.21% to 529p, with Lloyds (LLOY) off 1.09% to 77.79p and Standard Chartered (STAN) flopping 1.03% to 1104p.

In the news, Banco Santander (BNC) lost 0.05% to 489.75p despite a rise in Q1 profits. Rexam (REX), down 0.6% to 581p, said for the period Jan. 1 to date results are in line with its plans. However, BP (BP.) rose up 1.59% to 484.5p despite its Q1 pretax profit falling to £2.3bn, from $5.3bn, due to crude's collapse.

Whitbread (WTB), down 0.92% to 5390p, hiked its FY pretax profit to £463.8m, from £347.0m. FY dividend rose. CEO Andy Harrison retires in February 2016 and becomes chair of Dunelm (DNLM) from July 7. Barely 20 blue chips were on the up, among them supermarkets as investors spied value. Sainsbury (SBRY), up 0.62% to 267.65p, led Tesco (TSCO) and Morrisons (MRW).


Rose Petroleum (ROSE), down 20.85% to 0.93p, said core results to date from the Mancos Shale formation, in the Uinta Basin, Utah, reconfirm the area's prospectivity and have provided the positive technical data hoped. Full core analysis was on track for Q2.

InfraStrata (INFA), down 11.76% to 3.75p, has posted an H1 loss of £599,048, from a loss of £705,952 last time. Xeros Technology Group (XSG), down 12.9% to 260p, has booked an H1 pretax loss of £4.7m, from a year-earlier loss of £2.8m. It also announced a joint development programme with Lanxess.

ECR Minerals (ECR), down 9.43% to 0.12p, has issued 60.96m new shares at 0.108p each to YA Global following the conversion of $100,000 of the convertible loan facility. This leaves a total of US$1,385,712 in principal amount outstanding under the facility.

Pinnacle Technology (PINN), up 20% to 6.75p, has conditionally raised about £0.86m gross via a placing of 13.2m new shares at 6.5p each. The placing is to facilitate a strategic investment by MXC Capital (MXCC), unchanged at 3p.


Oilex (OEX), up 7.03% to 3.88p, confirms the completion of the Cambay-73 oil and gas production facilities on budget and ahead of schedule. The facilities are now ready for start-up and awaiting arrival of the low pressure gas pipeline to site.

MTI Wireless Edge (MWE), up 6.63% to 10.13p, has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of Mottech Water Solutions, a provider of wireless control products and services, for a consideration of about $4.75m.

NetDimensions (NETD), up 5.52% to 86p, said both revenue and invoiced sales for the quarter ending March 31 were substantially ahead of the comparative period for the prior year.

Victoria (VCP), up 4.04% to 837.5p, said its FY pretax profit is likely to be ahead of current market expectations. Its performance has benefited especially from operational synergies that have resulted from the recent Group acquisitions.

Other stocks in the news included Segro (SGRO), Kier (KIE), ISG (ISG), Premier African Minerals (PREM), Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant (CHZN), Share (SHRE), Avacta (AVCT), Nektan (NKTN) and Gresham House (GHE).

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