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Fears over utilities' earnings fail to dampen FTSE 100 rally

24 April 2017 16:46

The FTSE 100 enjoyed a strong start to the week, enjoying a 2.1% rise to 7,264 and echoing decent gains seen in many other major stock markets around the world on Monday.

Central to the bullish mood was investor relief over popular frontrunner Emmanuel Macron winning the first round of the French presidential elections.

Utilities were left behind in the FTSE rally as UK Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to cap energy bills for millions of consumers.

Investors were nervous about the threat to utilities' earnings, as illustrated by Centrica (CNA) and SSE (SSE) down by 3.5% and 1.9% respectively.

Elsewhere, UK manufacturers reported a strong growth in domestic and overseas orders in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest survey from the Confederation of British Industry.

Brent crude oil lost previous gains and declined 0.8% to $51.54 per barrel, while copper advanced 0.6% to $5,621 per tonne.


In the US, both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 jumped 1% in early trading across the pound. Banks were particularly in favour including a 4% advance in both Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.

Asian markets saw gains in many territories including the Nikkei 225 up 1.4% and the Hang Seng advancing by 0.4%. The only exception was China's SSE Composite which fell 1.4% as regulators warned they would clamp down on risker financing in the country.


A 0.7% decline in the price of gold dragged down miner Randgold Resources (RRS) by 1.4% to £69.70. The company also confirmed multiple opportunities for extending the life of its Tongon gold mine operation beyond its four-year horizon.

Elsewhere in the mining sector Anglo American (AAL) delivered a strong operational performance in its first quarter.


Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate (KWE) was hot property following a recommended all-share tie-up with Kennedy-Wilson (KWH).

Shareholders at KWE would be entitled to receive 0.667 new KWH shares for each KWE share, under the terms of the deal.


Luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo (CHOO) announced a strategic review to explore ways of maximising value for shareholders including a potential sale of the company. It listed in October 2014 with an issue price of 140p. The market was supportive of the potential sale as the stock jumped 11.7% to 184.5p.

Israeli investor Teddy Sagi said he would take North London property group Market Tech (MKT) private at 188p a share. Shares in the holding company catapulted 27.6% to 186p.

Five-a-side football provider Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL) confirmed media speculation regarding a possible merger with rival Powerleague.

Galantas Gold (GAL) halted development at its Omagh gold mine after being notified by Northern Ireland police they would not provide anti-terrorism cover for its blasting operations. Its shares crashed by 24.3% to 5.2p.

Self-storage provider Lok'nStore (LOK) reported a decent set of half-year numbers, but investors were took profit following a strong run. The stock fell 7.5% to 430p.

Biome Technologies (BIOM) continued to make positive progress with its strategy and was confident in its outlook for the rest of 2017, triggering a rise of 15% to 149.5p.

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