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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE up on miners, pharmas after Tuesday's Brexit debate

01 February 2017 08:56

London shares opened on a positive note with miners, pharmas and utilities leading blue chips higher amid ongoing concerns about the US' controversial travel ban and after UK parliamentarians' Brexit debate yesterday.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 53.4 points, or 0.75%, to 7152.55, while FTSE 250 was up 91.97, or 0.51%, to 18,329.7. At 8.39am, WTI crude was down 0.08% to $52.77/bbl and Brent was up 0.85% to $55.7/bbl. Gold was up 0.07% to $1212.3/oz, but silver and copper eased.

Shire (SHP) guided pharmas with a 2.02% surge to 4467.75p and was chased by Astrazeneca (AZN), which popped up 1.72% to 4266.25p. Metals diggers rose behind BHP Billiton (BLT), ahead 1.93% to 1465.25p, and Antofagasta (ANTO), up 1.65% to 848.75p. More in both sectors followed.

Shares in BT Group (BT.A), up 1.74% to 309.15p, piloted blue-chip risers. This after BT's Openreach appointed Sir Brendan Barber and Edward Astle as independent members of a newly formed board to oversee strategy, investment and service delivery.

Smiths Group (SMIN), up 1.57% to 1524.5p, said the Trustee of the TI Group Pension Scheme had entered into a bulk annuity buy-in agreement with Pension Insurance Corporation. Through a series of buy-ins, about £1bn of the TI Scheme liabilities has now been insured.

Meantime, several utilities firmed after United (UU.), up 1.5% to 930.75p. Multiple leisure, house builders, commercial property, oil and supermarkets figured among the roughly 84 blue-chip stocks marching north, although some in these sectors lost traction.

Mondi (MNDI), down 0.09% to 1749.5p, said CEO David Hathorn intends to retire and will be succeeded by Peter Oswald, currently an executive director and CEO of the Europe & International Division.


Autins Group (AUTG) fell 34.68% to 145p as it said CEO Jim Griffin has resigned for personal reasons with immediate effect. It added that it sees its FY results in line with market views.

Andalas Energy & Power (ADL) shed 18.18% to 0.11p on confirming it had issued a £500,000 zero-coupon loan note. It also posted a wider H1 loss before and after tax of $3.2m, from a loss of $1.9m.

Adgorithms (ADGO) slipped 13.64% to 19p as it said it continued to execute its stated growth strategy and expected trading for the year ended 31 December to be in line with management's expectations. Revenue for the period was expected to be about $16m with an un-audited adjusted EBITDA loss of about $8m.


Kennedy Ventures (KENV) rose 10.53% to 10.5p as it raised £1.25m gross at 9p a share, with net proceeds to be used by investee company Aftan African Tantalum Ltd to implement plant enhancements at the Tantalite Valley Mine, Namibia.

Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) added 10.26% to 43p as it announced a contract win with a major UK Water utility provider for lock systems. The new contract was worth £1.6m over 2.5 years to the company.

TalkTalk Telecom (TALK), up 9.27% to 171p, said that strong re-contracting activity will impact current year revenue and EBITDA, seeing the latter in line with previous guidance. The company also named Tristia Harrison as its incoming CEO, replacing Dido Harding.

Wizz Air (WIZZ), down 7.89% to 1640.5p, has more than doubled its Q3 pretax profit to €33.1m, from €16.2m, but has trimmed its FY net profit guidance due to unusually severe weather conditions in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Metminco Ltd (MNC), up 7.69% to 5.25p, announces the completion of the second tranche of the placement of about A$4.85m announced on Nov. 17, 2016, which would be used towards completing the Miraflores Bankable Feasibility Study and to progress the project towards production.

Ariana Resources (AAU), up 4.55% to 173p, has received an operational forestry permit for the Kizilcukur project, Turkey. Hochschild Mining (HOC), down 4.56% to 235.25p, has suspended operations at its Inmaculada mine, Peru, after two contractors died in an accident yesterday.

Zoopla Property Group (ZPLA), up 3.89% to 380.45p, has raised total gross proceeds of about £76.3m after the placing of 20.9m shares at 365p each. Circle Holdings (CIRC), up 2.22% to 23p, has sold its land in Manchester to the Department for Communities and Local Government for £9.1m plus VAT.

Other stocks in the news included Low & Bonar (LWB), Centamin (CEY), Assura (AGR), AG Barr (BAG), Telford Homes (TEF), AFH Financial (AFHP), MySQUAR (MYSQ), Victoria (VCP), Audioboom (BOOM), Telit (TCM), Akers Biosciences (AKR) and Cohort (CHRT).

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