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Market Wrap - Close

Gold hits five-month high on geopolitical tensions

13 April 2017 16:46

Gold reached nearly a five-month high at $1,282 per ounce as investors sought a safe haven amid rising tensions over Syria and North Korea.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) remained weak with a 1.3% drop amid receding risk appetite among investors.

The FTSE 100 eased back losses and closed 0.3% lower at 7,327.

Brent crude oil was flat at $55.77 per barrel, while copper rebounded over 1% to $5,665 per tonne.


Wall Street kicked off its results season with mega banks JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, which produced a mixed batch of numbers.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones were stable when the markets opened on Thursday.

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 3% boost to 759.5p 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 1.2% higher to 424p.


Recruiter Hays (HAS) impressed with a record quarterly net fee performance in the three months to the end of March, and expected 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 8.5% to 274p.

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 4% lower to 61.4p.

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 12% to 4.9p.

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.

Virtual workforce technology disruptor Blue Prism (PRSM) accelerated 18.6% to 567p on news full year sales will be 'significantly ahead' of previously upgraded expectations.

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