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BP boosts FTSE after May triggers Article 50

29 March 2017 17:01

Media speculation that oil giant BP (BP.) will not build new refineries and instead focus on modernising existing plants boosted the stock by 1.4% and pushed the FTSE 0.4% higher.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 on Wednesday to start the UK's negotiations to leave the European Union, resulting in the pound weakening against the dollar by 0.2%.

Somewhat surprisingly, the pound travelled 0.4% in the opposite direction against the euro.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil rallied by approximately 2% to $49.34 and $52.31 per barrel, respectively.

Copper was flat at $5,886 per tonne and gold declined 0.2% to $1,252 per ounce.


On Wall Street, the Dow Jones opened 0.2% lower while the S&P 500 was flat on Wednesday.

Asian stocks were mostly subdued, with Shanghai's SSE Composite nudging 0.3% lower on Wednesday.


EU regulators blocked the London Stock Exchange's (LSE) £21bn merger with Deutsche Boerse, the German stock exchange, causing shares in the former to jump 2.6%.


Publisher of i newspaper Johnston Press (JPR) suffered a share price drop of 9% as its results revealed a 6% decline in revenues. Its operating profit tumbled by 14.5% due to a hit on its print advertising revenues, which were down by almost 9%.

Shares in Centaur Media (CAU) fell by 11% to 41p on disappointing results. Operating profits declined by £1.4m to £9.1m, while the firm's revenues rose 3% to £72.5m. Centaur blamed the fall in advertising revenues and said it will result in a 2017 profit reduction, although hopes to reverse that in 2018.

Bellzone Mining (BZM) said the Guinea Minister of Mines and Geology affirmed the government's agreement about the development and exploitation of the ferronickel sub-project in the Kalia iron ore concession. The stock climbed 21% higher on the update.

Courier DX Group's (DX.) announced a major new contract win worth over £10m a year. Management said it is going to provide services to one of the UK's most iconic beauty brands Avon. The stock rallied 16.7% on the good news.

AIM-listed Circle Holdings (CIRC) received a 30p a share takeover offer from private company DMWSL 849. The offer excited shareholders as the shares gained 21.9% to 29.2p.

Tech solutions provider China New Energy (CNEL) sparked 17.4% on several contract wins with Supercare Group of Ghana and CNBM General Machinery to construct a new ethanol plant in Ghana.

Sabien Technology (SNT) plummeted 57.8% to 1.2p after placing 47.5 million shares with its investors in a bid to fund 40 new energy efficiency tech M2G projects for its clients this year. The shares were placed at a price of 1p which is a significant discount to its closing price yesterday of 3p. Chief executive officer Alan O'Brien said he was confident this move should prompt 'material orders' of the product going forward.

Regional airline Flybe's (FLYB) reported its fourth quarter of 2016 was characterised by weak demand in an uncertain consumer market and tough price competition from rival airlines. Due to these market conditions, management said it expects to report a small loss for year to 31 March 2017.

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