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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE falls as Shell and BP struggle

13 April 2017 11:55

Dominant blue-chips Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and BP (BP.) fell by more than 1.2% as oil prices slipped lower amid receding risk appetite among investors.

Ex-dividend movers including Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) also contributed to a 0.6% drag on the FTSE 100 to 7,304.

Brent crude oil dived 1.2% to $55.62 per barrel.

Gold was 0.8% higher at $1,286 per ounce, while copper remained weak as it slumped 2.5% to $5,599 per tonne.


US stocks continued to struggle overnight as investors were cautious about geopolitical tensions in France, Russia and North Korea.

US President Donald Trump indicated he was open to re-nominating Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

A stronger yen dragged Japan's Nikkei 225 0.7% lower, while the SSE Composite index in China was stable on Thursday as its trade balance in March surged.


Mediclinic International (MDC) benefitted from a 2.8% boost to 757p on an in-line performance as it expected a better performance in the Middle East during full year 2018.

Parcels delivery business Royal Mail (RMG) said its pension plan was in surplus, but expected this would run out in 2018. Management decided to close it on 31 March 2018, subject to trustee approval. The market approved of this cost-cutting plan as the shares nudged 0.6% to 421.5p.


Recruiter Hays (HAS) impressed with a record quarterly net fee performance in the three months to the end of March, and anticipated full year profits to hit the top range of market expectations.


Elsewhere in the recruitment sector, Gattaca (GATC) warned profits for the year to 31 July will be around 10-15% below management's expectations. It blamed delays to projects and hiring following the Brexit vote, as well as unexpected costs for the earnings shortfall. The stock fell 9.8% to 270p.

Tool hire specialist HSS Hire (HSS) announced that long-serving CEO John Gill was stepping down after eight years in the hot seat, pushing shares 2.5% lower to 62.4p.

Ferrum Crescent (FCR) sealed a drilling contract for its Toral lead-zinc project, Spain and started implementing its planned Phase 1 programme, prompting a 14.6% rally to 0.1p.

SRT Marine Systems (SRT) was among the top dogs as it expected to report full year pre-tax profit of £1.2m, which was significantly ahead of market expectations.

Shares in investment firm Dorcaster (DAR) were restored to trading on AIM. It proposed acquiring Experiential Ventures and changing its name to Escape Hunt using a placing and share buyback.

It was game on for Gfinity (GFIN) after it was appointed the official global tournament partner for Microsoft's Turn 10 Studios' Forza Racing Championship on Xbox.

Encouraging production results at the Kareevlei mine in South Africa sparked shares in BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) by 14.3% to 5p.

Remaining in the resources space, Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG) reported production in the three months to the end of March increased, and it made encouraging progress drilling two new Logbaba wells.

Solutions specialist Scapa (SCPA) skipped 7.5% higher to 397p as CEO Heejae Chae celebrated sales, profits and margins ahead of expectations for the year to March.

Virtual workforce technology disruptor Blue Prism (PRSM) accelerated 16% to 555p on news full year sales will be 'significantly ahead' of previously upgraded expectations.

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