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Market Wrap - Midday

Mixed economic results pushes FTSE lower

31 May 2016 12:01

Mixed news on economic progress and lower Brent crude oil prices pushed the FTSE 100 into negative territory.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.08% to 6,265.71 and FTSE 250 fell 0.09% to 17,216.04.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil advanced 0.2% to $49.43, while Brent crude oil retreated 0.62% to $49.45 per barrel, respectively.

Gold declined 0.16% to $1,211.9 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.28% to $4,651.83 per tonne.

MAIN NEWS OF THE DAY

Financial services company Alliance Trust (ATST) said a merger with RIT Capital Partners is in preliminary stages, with no certainty that an offer will be made, boosting shares 3.3% to 525.5p.

The European Central Bank said Eurozone loans to household increased 1.5% in April, in line with forecasts.

German retail sales, excluding automobiles, defied positive expectations and declined 0.9% in April, according to the Federal Statistics Office.

The rate of unemployment in the Euro area was unchanged from March, remaining at 10.2% in April, while Euro area annual inflation is expected to be up to -0.1% in May, according to Eurostat.

MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Online trader IG (IGG) announced full-year earnings are expected to be ahead of expectations as its robust performance was offset by strong trading revenue, nudging shares up 0.5% to 802p.

Property company St Modwen (SMP) retreated 0.6% to 327.1p, despite trading for the year starting well as it extracted value from various opportunities within its land bank.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Proton therapy system provider Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) suffered operating losses of more than £8m in the year to 31 December 2015 after developing the LIGHT cancer systems, which the company hopes to bring to market. Shares dropped 4% to 7.68p.

Speciality chemical firm HaiKe Chemical Group (HAIK) revealed its net profit was CNY2.3m, up from a loss of CNY1.6m in the first four months of 2015 after upgrading its product mix and undergoing cost-saving initiatives. Shares shot up 33.3% to 13p.

Power solution provider Proton Power Systems (PPS) advanced 16.7% to 4.38p after signing a &euro15m framework agreement for fuel cell emergency power units with a German company.

Software solutions company Kainos Group (KNOS) became more profitable as total sale orders rose in the first quarter, but proposed a lower final dividend of 4.2p compared to last year, causing shares to slide 3.3% to 190.5p.

Asia-Pacific online gaming company PCG Entertainment (PCGE) said it is in a dispute with a supplier over debt repayment, which could affect its financial position in the future. Investors were not happy with the news as shares plummeted 36.5% to 0.54p.

African oil and gas firm SacOil (SAC) advised shareholders its full-year basic earnings per share is expected to increase, driving shares up 10.3% to 0.91p.

Vehicle monitoring technology company Seeing Machines (SEE) fell nearly 8.6% to 3.2p, despite receiving $400,000 of revenue from Caterpillar through royalties on products and services in the first quarter.

APC Technology (APC) said its revenue fell by nearly £2m as a result of weak component bookings in the second half of 2015, triggering a drop of 1.4% to 9p.

Energy technology group Intelligent Energy (IEH) plummeted 8.3% to 11.4p after its pre-tax profit widened to £67.3m in the six months to 31 March.

Mineral exploration company Minco (MIO) recorded a loss of $426,000 in the first quarter, compared to a profit of $482,000 for the same period last year as a result of foreign exchange losses and higher costs. Shares retreated 17.8% to 0.76p.

Mobile money network Monitise (MONI) stopped talks over the sale of its content business, as a result of strong performance of its units offering better value to shareholders. The market was not impressed with this decision with shares retreating 9% to 2.87p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: ATST

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