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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE lower on utilities, oil majors and ex-divs

13 April 2017 08:49

FTSE indices are lower in early deals thanks to the weight of several ex-dividend shares and falls among utilities, oil majors, several banks and financials.

Soon after the open, the FTSE 100 was down 28.84 points, or 0.39%, to 7320.15, and the FTSE 250 was down 44.04, or 0.23%, to 19,379.9.

The prices of three-month industrial metals copper, tin and aluminium were heavily lower, while safe-haven gold and silver were higher. Crude oil was slipping mildly.

Utilities followed SSE (SSE), down 1.1% to 1487.5p, and Centrica (CNA), down 1.05% to 217.7p. Shell (RDSA), down 0.92% to 2111.5p, and BP (BP.), down 0.79% to 468.78p followed oil prices.

Ex-dividends prominent included Standard Life (SL.), down 3.11% to 365.85p, Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), down 1.81% to 7356.5p, and Taylor Wimpey (TW.), down 0.94% to 194.05p.

Mediclinic International (MDC), up 4.28% to 768p and leading blue-chip risers, as it noted in line performances in FY 2017 for the largest platforms of its business and expected an improving performance in the Middle East during FY 2018.

Royal Mail (RMG), up 1.93% to 427.3p, said its pension plan was in surplus, but expected this would run out in 2018 and has decided to close it to future accrual on 31 March 2018, subject to trustee approval.

Miners were broadly higher as they responded to higher gold prices. Fresnillo (FRES) added 1.7% to 1643.5p, while Antofagasta (ANTO) firmed 0.45% to 828.25p. Supermarkets were gaining, too, with Morrisons (MRW), up 0.69% to 233.6p, and Tesco (TSCO), up 0.35% to 185.05p, leading.


Ferrum Crescent (FCR), up 21.43% to 0.17p, rose 21.43% to 0.17p after announcing the signing of a drilling contract for its Toral lead-zinc project, Spain. It was now implementing its planned Phase 1 drill programme there.

SRT Marine Systems (SRT), up 18.06% to 42.5p, expected to report FY revenue of £11m, ahead of last year, and pretax profit of £1.2m, which was significantly ahead of market expectations.

Gattaca (GATC) fell 17.7% to 246.38p after it warned that profits for the year would be about 10-15% below its prior expectations.


Dorcaster (DAR) fell 12.31% to 142.5p after its shares were restored to trading on AIM. It proposed acquiring Experiential Ventures Ltd, changing its name to Escape Hunt and both a placing and share buyback, among several other proposals.

Gfinity (GFIN), up 11.69% to 21.5p, has been appointed as the official global tournament partner for Microsoft's Turn 10 Studios' Forza Racing Championship on Xbox.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD), up 11.43% to 4.88p, was encouraged by production results at the Kareevlei mine in South Africa.

Scapa Group (SCPA), up 7.95% to 398.88p, said the good progress seen in its interim results had continued and, as a result, it saw group revenue, trading profit and margins all ahead of expectations.

Steppe Cement (STCM) fell 8.82% to 15.5p on said in Q1 2017 it sold 124,669 tonnes of cement for 1.53bn Tenge, versus 190,935 tonnes of cement for 2.00bn Tenge a year earlier, representing falls of 35% and 24% respectively.

Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG), down 6.97% to 71.63p, said production in the three months to end-March increased, and that the company had made encouraging progress drilling two new Logbaba wells.

BNN Technology (BNN), up 6.25% to 85p, said its FY operating losses rose to £16.5m, from £9.3m last time. It intended to raise up to £25m to fund transformational new developments.

Kenmare Resources (KMR), up 3.79% to 311. 38p, said it delivered solid production in Q1, particularly for the main revenue generating products of ilmenite and primary zircon, in what was traditionally a lower-producing quarter.

Hays (HAS), down 1.34% to 165.95p, achieved an all-time record quarterly net fee performance in the three months to the end of March. "This gives us confidence to increase our expectations for full year profits, to the top of the current range of market estimates."

Other stocks in the news included PZ Cussons (PZC), Rotala (ROL), Ascent Resources (AST), Etalon (ETLN) Digital Barriers (DGB), Harworth (HWG) and Onzima Ventures (ONZ).

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