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Market Wrap - Midday

Miners drag on FTSE as commodity prices decline

25 April 2017 12:00

The FTSE struggled to gain positive momentum as mining stocks fell thanks to weak commodity prices.

Among the top fallers were Randgold Resources (RRS), Antofagasta (ANTO) and BHP Billiton (BLT).

Brent crude oil advanced 0.3% to $51.77 per barrel. Gold remained weak at $1,271 per ounce while copper rallied 0.7% to $5,665 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

On Monday, the US markets closed 1% higher as investors expected French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron to win the election in May. The markets were also optimistic ahead of more details from US President Donald Trump about his tax reform plans.

In Asia, Shanghai's SSE Composite recovered from a slump on Monday after regulators warned they would crack down on riskier financing in China.

Markets in Japan and Hong Kong were up 1% overnight as the relief rally from the first round of the French presidential election continued.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB) fell flat with investors as management warned of a tougher consumer environment in 2017. The market overlooked a rise in pre-tax profit and dividend as the stock tumbled 6.8% to £40.11.

Wealth manager St James's Place (STJ) reported a strong growth in its first quarter as gross inflow of funds under management at £3.23bn, up from £2.45bn, although this failed to move the share price.

One of the world's largest miners Anglo American (AAL) planned to reinstate its dividend by its year-end, according to its latest annual general meeting. Investors were not convinced as the stock declined 1.5% to £11.12.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Mobiles device diagnostics firm Blancco Technology (BLTG) concerned shareholders after it said it needed at least £4m over the next few weeks to address its working capital position. Shares in the business plummeted 22.6% to 167.2p.

Flooring specialist Carpetright (CPR) cautioned that full year profits were likely to be towards the lower end of current forecasts, which disappointed investors who marked the shares 4.5% to 234p.

Communications solutions provider Sepura (SEPU) gained 22.2% to 13.7p as its recommended £74m acquisition by Hytera achieved Spanish competition approval.

Havelock Europe (HVE) slumped 14.7% in the other direction despite swinging into the black in the year to 31 December with a pre-tax profit before exceptional items of £0.4m.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) also swung to a full year after tax profit of £2.1m, from a loss of £2.2m causing the tech service supplier to increase 5.4% to 1.6p.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD), up 20% to 1.8p, said joint venture company Sunland Minerals has been awarded six new prospecting licenses in Botswana. The three-year licences ended on 30 March 2020.

Specialty chemicals company Elementis (ELM) reported stronger demand across most of its markets, helping to boost trading in its first quarter.

Payment services business Equiniti's (EQN) was up 3% to 214.4p after the firm reported it expected to deliver results in line with market expectations.

Advanced car testing firm AB Dynamics (ABDP) reversed 5% to 572.5p despite releasing a strong set of results and announcing a hike in the dividend.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: WTB

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