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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE dragged lower by ex-dividends

25 August 2016 11:50

The FTSE slipped 0.3% to 6,817 as several blue chips went ex-dividend.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil advanced 0.2% to $46.87 and Brent crude oil nudged higher to $49 per barrel, respectively.

Gold was stable at $1,324 per ounce, while copper rallied 0.3% to $4,585 per tonne.

MAIN NEWS OF THE DAY

Ongoing strength in the Americas region boosted CRH's (CRH) first half results and sent shares up 3.6% to £25.58.

MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Online gambling technology group Playtech (PTEC) was in positive territory after rewarding investors with a 57c (40p) special dividend on top of a 46c (40p) normal dividend. Playtech saw net profit increase by 84% at constant currency rates.

Infrastructure investor John Laing (JLG) improved its net asset value by 8.3% to £963.7 million in the six months to 30 June.

Ascential (ASCL) agreed to acquire e-commerce analytics provider One Click Retail.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Chinese medicine firm Taihua (TAIH) soared 100% to 2.25p on plans to raise money at more than twice yesterday's share price. The price seems deliberately high and a way to get a Chinese shareholder to pay a chunky price to increase their stake to 25.85%.

Kibo Mining (KIBO) rose 12.6% to 5.63p after signing an agreement with Chinese contractor SEPCO III, allowing it to earn the right to become the sole bidder for the EPC contract to build the power plant component of Kibo's project.

Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo (CHOO) was in the spotlight and trading 6.7% higher as half year results reveal sales growth and margin expansion.

Construction group Henry Boot (BHY) nudged higher after the company had a strong first half with pre-tax profit up by 48.6% with trading since the Brexit vote proceeding as envisaged.

Scottish media company STV (STVG) boosted its operating profit by nearly a third, driven by high margin revenue activities of digital and regional airtime, prompting a 33% hike in the interim dividend to 4p per share.

Franco Manco and Real Greek restaurants operator The Fulham Shore (FUL) advanced 3.3% to 19.25p on news that four new outlets would open in its current financial year and trials for home delivery with Deliveroo were 'encouraging'.

Bellzone Mining's (BZM) economic outlook for its Kalia project disappointed investors, who jumped ship and dragged the share price 22.6% to 0.24p. The project is arguably not viable to develop at current nickel prices.

Bushveld Minerals (BMN) raised £580,000 for general working capital purposes, but traded 10.7% lower after placing new shares at a discount to yesterday's closing price.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: CRH

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