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Pound climbs higher on rising inflation

21 March 2017 16:53

The pound strengthened by 0.9% against the dollar as CPI data came in ahead of expectations.

Inflation increased by 2.3% in February in 2017, up from 1.9% in January according to the Office for National Statistics. The main contributors were higher transport costs, especially fuel.

Miners and pharmaceutical stocks suffered share price weakness, with Rio Tinto (RIO, BHP Billiton (BLT) and Shire (SHP) among the top fallers.

Other notable weak stocks included Hikma (HIK) and Ben and Jerry's owner Unilever (ULVR).

The FTSE closed 0.7% lower at 7,378.

West Texas Intermediate slumped by 1.3% to $47.60 and Brent crude oil retreated 0.9% to $51 per barrel. respectively.

Gold gained 0.7% to $1,242 per ounce and copper declined 2% to $5,732 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 continued to struggle as banks and financial stocks remained in the top fallers.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.3% lower on Tuesday thanks to a weaker yen, while other markets in Asia shrugged off the underperformance and gained approximately 0.3%.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Housebuilder Bellway (BWY) rose 1.4% to £28.67 on record first half earnings with volume growth supported by the Help to Buy scheme.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Inhalation products business Vectura (VEC) was boosted by 2.8% to 161.7p as full year results unveiled a significant leap in royalty income.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Minco (MIO) said it is in discussions with Dalradian Resources about disposing its 2% net smelter return royalty on the Curraghinalt gold deposit, which is being developed by Dalradian, for 15 million new shares. The stock rallied by nearly 70% to 2.2p.

Investors took a stake in online gaming group 888 (888) on better-than-expected full year results. The shares were up 9% as management revealed strong organic sales and profit growth, as well as substantial free cash flow.

Energy products developer Flowgroup (FLOW) confirmed it selected a preferred bidder to buy Flow Energy and entered an exclusive agreement with this party. Investors were clearly excited about the potential sale as the stock soared 35.5% to 5.2p.

Soccer centres operator Goals (GOAL) reported profit growth, a positive trend in like-for-like sales and a good start to 2017, triggering a share price rise of 13.7%.

Ginger beer and tonic water seller Fevertree Drinks (FEVR) fizzled out despite good fantastic full year results. This included strong sales growth across all regions and new listings secured with Asda in the UK, Target in the US and Rewe in Germany. The absence of another round of upgrades encouraged some investors to take profits as the stock fell 1.7%.

AIM-listed Bezant Resources (BZT) raised £1m at approximately a 38% discount to its closing price on Monday, which will be used to fund the next phase of its mine development programme in Columbia.

Orogen Gold (ORE) announced it is proposing to dispose its mineral exploration interests and change the company business strategy. It said it will become a cash shell to complete a reverse takeover over the next six months. Management also raised £3m to explore corporate opportunities, but fell 35.3% drop in the stock.

Global payments platform Earthport (EPO) was 2.4% lower at 25.6p despite half year results showing further strength in transaction numbers and payment volumes. Investors focused on continued losses and the news that break-even will be delayed due to additional investment in new growth initiatives. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: BWY

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