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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE up on house builders, miners as DCC flies

07 February 2017 08:56

London stocks opened moderately higher with blue-chip house builders leading the way after yesterday's white-paper-driven sell-off, with miners, pharmas and commercial property also sauntering convincingly north.

DCC Energy (DCC), up 5.49% to 6725p and topping the blue-chip winners' ladder, has agreed to acquire Esso Norge's retail petrol station network in Norway for Nkr2.43bn. DCC also said its Q3 operating profit was strongly ahead on the year and in line with views.

Barratt (BDEV) guided home builders with a 2.79% surge to 507.25p, while Taylor Wimpey (TW.) firmed 2.68% to 174.35p and Persimmon (PSN) added 1.99% to 1976.5p. All three fell heavily Monday as traders sold ahead of a Government white paper due out today on housing-sector prices and demand.

Miners were guided up by Rio Tinto (RIO), ahead 1.77% to 3445p, with more -- including gold-sensitive Randgold (RRS) and Fresnillo (FRES) -- further back. Also up were retail related behind Morrisons (MRW), up 1.27% to 242.45p, and Burberry (BRY), ahead 1.27% to 1636.5p.

Pharmas traced Astrazeneca (AZN), up 1.23% to 4441.5p. Despite glum turns by equities on Wall St and in Asia overnight, and across Europe yesterday, there was roughly 97 blue chips up in early deals. Every sector was represented among them.

BP (BP.), down 2.55% to 464.38p, posted a headline FY profit of $115m, from a headline loss of $6.5bn in 2015. It booked a Q4 underlying replacement cost profit of $400m, from $196m in Q4 2015, thanks to higher oil prices and significantly lower costs, offset by weaker refining margins and higher turnarounds in the Downstream.

At 8.35am, WTI crude was down 0.08% to $52.97/bbl and Brent was down 0.07% to $55.68/bbl. Gold was up 0.03% to $1232.5/oz, but silver and copper were firmly ahead.

BIGGER MOVERS

DX (Group) (DX.), down 58.33% to 7.5p, has warned that it now anticipated FY profits would be significantly below current market forecasts, and that it would not pay any dividends for the foreseeable future.

RM Plc (RM.) rose 17.22% to 169.38p despite its FY post-tax profit falling 22.2% to £11.6m, and after confirming the proposed acquisition of Connect Group's (CNCT) Education & Care division for an enterprise value of £64.4m.

Fox Marble (FOX) firmed 15.63% to 9.25p on confirming it had entered into a $1.8m a year sale and purchase agreement with Mahadev Marmo PVT Ltd, India's second largest green marble export house.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Hornby (HRN), up 10.82% to 34.63p, said its turnaround plan was progressing as expected. "As previously announced, revenue is expected to decline by around 20-25% this financial year due to the rationalisation of the business," the company said.

Amphion Innovations (AMP), down 9.52% to 2.38p, has agreed terms for the draw-down of an additional tranche of $500,000 under the loan facility announced on 5 June 2014. The current loan balance under the facility after the additional draw will be $5.8m.

Plus500 (PLUS), up 9.03% to 463.38p, has improved its FY net profit, revenues and dividend in what it describes as a record year of strong and better than expected customer growth. Entu (ENTU), down 5.88% to 24p, has confirmed it expected FY EBITDA from continuing operations and before exceptional items to be within the range previously announced, at about £2.6m-£2.7m.

Egdon Resources (EDR), up 5.56% to 11.88p, has confirmed it would submit a formal appeal against the North Lincolnshire Council's planning committee decision to refuse planning permission for hydrocarbon production at the Wressle field.

FirstGroup (FGP), up 4.04% to 108.2p, said its FY expectations were unchanged with reported revenue up 12.8% in Q3, benefiting from favourable currency translation. Amino Technologies (AMO), up 4.67% to 190.5p, said its FY revenues rose 80% to £75.2m, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation also up 80% at £13.5m.

St Modwen Properties (SMP), up 3.49% to 333.15p, booked a much lower FY pretax profit of £66m, from a profit of £235.2m a year earlier. Its EPRA net asset value per share rose to 460.5p, from 446.4p, and total dividend was hiked to 6p a share, from 5.75p.

Bellway (BWY), up 2.54% to 2580p, saw further growth in volume in the six months to end-January, with a 6.5% increase in the number of housing completions to 4462, from 4188 in the 2016 year.

Walker Greenbank (WGB), up 1.48% to 205.5p, said its FY results were expected to be in line with directors' expectations. They would include a first-time contribution from Clarke & Clarke, which was acquired at end-October 2016.

Other stocks in the news included B.P. Marsh (BPM), Playtech (PTEC), Rentokil Initial (RTO), Marlowe (MRL), XLMedia (XLM), Connect Group (CNCT), Capital & Regional (CAL), Be Heard Group (BHRD), TP Group (TPG) and Sound Energy (SOU).

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: DCC

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