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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE falls flat as miners drag on performance

26 April 2017 11:58

Miners were subdued on flat commodity prices, with Glencore (GLEN) and Anglo American (AAL) among the casualties.

Banks eased back after a stronger run on Tuesday, with Natwest owner Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds (LLOY) falling by up to 1.2%.

Brent crude oil declined 0.4% to $51.84 per barrel, while copper and gold prices remained stable.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Wall Street enjoyed strong trading on Tuesday ahead of US President Donald Trump's speech on proposed tax reforms.

Optimism in Asia about its economic outlook boosted investor sentiment as Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 1% higher on Wednesday, followed by smaller gains in Hong Kong and China.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Aerospace products manufacturer GKN (GKN) achieved good organic sales growth in its first quarter and continued to benefit from currency translation. This didn't stop the stock falling 1.8% to 359.6p.

Mexico's second largest gold producer Fresnillo (FRES) reported a solid first quarter performance and was on track to meet its 2017 output guidance. Despite the good news, the stock nudged 0.7% to £14.93.

Antofagasta (ANTO) failed to move significantly at 835p after announcing production was 9% higher than the same quarter last year. It reasserted its full year guidance for 685,000-720,000 tonnes of copper.

Elsewhere in the mining sector, BHP Billiton (BLT) achieved record production at Western Australia Iron Ore and five Queensland Coal mines for the nine months to March but lowered copper guidance. Shares in the firm were flat at £12.03.

London Stock Exchange (LSE) kicked off 2017 with a bang as total income from continuing operations rose 19% to £458.7m, causing the stock to nudge higher to £33.26.

Also in the financial sector, Standard Chartered (STAN) was marked 3.3% higher to 752.4p as it reported a 94% increase year-on-year in pre-tax profit to $1bn.

Chemicals group Croda (CRDA) excited investors with news that its strong end to 2016 carried through to the first quarter of this year. The company revealed a 4.9% rise in sales excluding the effects of currency exchange rates and the stock rose 4.8% to £38.34.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

British online fashion retailer Boohoo (BOO) reported a doubling in annual profit, driven by robust demand in its home market and overseas, particularly in the US. Unfortunately shares in the AIM darling drifted 3% to 183.7p as investors assessed its strong performance this year.

Mariana Resources (MARL) agreed a recommended share and cash deal under which Sandstorm Gold would acquire the remaining stake in the company it does not already own, causing the stock to soar 46% to 86.8p.

Nearly a fifth of Feedback's (FDBK) value was wiped off after raising £750,000 at 2.75p a share. The funds would be used to invest in product development, sales and marketing, primarily for TexRAD.

Rosslyn Data Technologies (RDT) agreed to acquire Integritie for £2.588m, but investors were frustrated with its intention to raise approximately £5m to partly fund the deal and provide working capital. As a result, the stock crashed 31.4% to 5.4p.

Local butcher Crawshaw (CRAW) disappointed the market with a wider full year pre-tax loss of £1.4m, from a loss of £344,000, despite rising revenue. Its transformational partnership with 2 Sisters Food Group was overlooked as the stock plummeted 21.6% to 23.7p.

Windar Photonics (WPHO) was 13% up to 99p after receiving a new order for 15 WindEYE LiDAR units from a regional distributor focused on potential specific IPP customers in China.

Investors were relieved that Kefi Minerals (KEFI) confirmed the company and government of Ethiopia finalised the Tulu Kapi community resettlement plan, sparking a 23% jump in the share price.

Industrial Multi Property Trust (IMPT) told shareholders that unless they wanted to retain their stakes in what would become an unlisted investment fund they should accept to Hansteen's offer, which was increased to 330p a share.

Africa-focused oil company Tullow Oil (TLW) cut its debt in the first quarter by $200m after announcing a rights issue in March. The stock remained static at 216p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: GKN

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