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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE consolidates behind pharmas as Whitbread hurts

25 April 2017 08:49

London shares are consolidating yesterday's strong gains with pharmas, financials and utilities prominent among rising blue chips as Whitbread fell heavily.

Whitbread (WTB), down 6.62% to 4022p, boosted its FY pretax profit, revenue and dividend, but warned of a tougher consumer environment in 2017.

A short while after the open, the FTSE 100 was up 4.125 points, or 0.06%, to 7268.83, while the FTSE 250 was up 19.38, or 0.1%, to 19,622.2. Europe was mixed, albeit barely moved. Sterling was making minor gains on the dollar, but slipping against the euro.

In London, the FTSE 100 was led up by Hikma (HIK), gaining 1.09% to 1862p, with Shire (SHP) adding 1.06% to 4612.25p and Glaxosmithkline (GSK) firming 0.58% to 1594.25.

Among utilities making gains were Centrica (CNA), up 0.75% to 201.9p, and SSE (SSE), up 0.39% to 1422.5p. Financials rising included Aviva (AV.) up 0.66% to 531p and HSBC (HSBA) up 0.57% to 641.95p.

St. James's Place (STJ), up 0.67% to 1122.5p, reported a strong Q1 of growth with the gross inflow of FuM at £3.23bn, up from £2.45bn. FuM totalled £79.84bn, from £62.02bn.

Oil majors Shell (RDSA) and BP (BP.) gained with minor rises in the price of WTI and Brent crude, but miners were softening as gold and silver prices ebbed.

Anglo American (AAL), down 1.71% to 1109.75p, planned to reinstate its dividend by the year-end, shareholders at the annual general meeting were told. House builders were notable among fallers, too.

Tuesday's consolidation followed stocks' dash north on Monday, which was sparked as markets found confidence in first-round results for France's presidential election.


Blancco Technology (BLTG) fell 27.08% to 157.5p after it confirmed strong tading in Q3, but said it required additional funding of a minimum of £4m over the coming weeks to address its working capital position and increase its headroom.

Sepura (SEPU) rose 22.22% to 13.75p as its recommended acquisition by Hytera Communications Corp had achieved Spanish competition approval.

Havelock Europe (HVE) fell 15% to 12.75p as it swung into the black in the year ended 31 December with a pre-tax profit before exceptional items of £0.4m compared with a loss of £0.8m last time.


Carpetright (CPR), down 9.18% to 222.5p, has warned that full year profits were likely to be towards the lower end of current forecasts.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD), up 8.33% to 1.63p, said joint venture company Sunland Minerals has been awarded six new prospecting licenses in Botswana. The three-year licences ended on 30 March 2020.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) added 7.81% to 1.73p after it swung to a FY after-tax profit of £2.1m, from a loss of £2.2m, with revenue rising to £41.5m, from £40.1m.

Connect Group (CNCT), down 3.59% to 130.88p, said its H1 adjusted pretax profits fell to £23.3m, down 4.8% on last time. Statutory pretax profit fell 5.3% to £18.1m.

AB Dynamics (ABDP), down 3.32% to 582.5p, said its H1 revenues rose 9% to £11.0m. Pretax profit, excluding share option costs, rose 9% to £2.5m.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX), down 3.17% to 22.88p, said its FY results would be in line with market views, with revenues seen at £14.3m and adjusted profit before tax at £1.1m.

Collagen Solutions (COS), up 2.5% to 5.13p, said it expected FY revenue to be £4.1m, compared with £3.2m in 2016.

OptiBiotix Health (OPTI), down 2.07% to 71p, has marginally widened its FY pretax loss to £1.5m, from £1.4m, with revenue coming in at £288,119, from £28,200.

Other stocks in the news included SigmaRoc (SRC), Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW), Virgin Money (VM.), Stagecoach Group (SGC), Horizonte Minerals (HZM), Patagonia Gold (PGD), Plus500 (PLUS) and Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG).

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