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BP jumps as oil hits $50 a barrel

26 April 2017 17:02

A bounce back in oil prices boosted oil giant BP (BP.) by 1% and helped the FTSE gain positive momentum after subdued trading.

Brent crude oil was up 0.4% to $52.29, while West Texas Intermediate hit the $50 mark per barrel.

The blue-chip index closed 0.2% up at 7,288.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

US equities eased back on Wednesday as investors were disappointed with US President Donald Trump's plan to cut corporate tax to 15%.

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 continuing to benefit from currency translation. Despite this, the stock fell 2.7% to 355.9p.

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 0.8% to £14.90.

Antofagasta (ANTO) failed to move significantly at 834.7p 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. The stock remained broadly flat at £12.15.

London Stock Exchange (LSE) kicked off 2017 with a bang as total income from continuing operations rose 19% to £458.7m.

Also in the financial sector, Standard Chartered (STAN) was marked 3.4% higher to 753p 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.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Investors approved of Oxford Instruments' (OXIG) decision to sell its industrial analysis business to Hitachi High-Technologies for £80m as the stock advanced 9.2% to 926p.

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 1.6% to 186.6p as investors assessed its strong performance this year.

Sausage skin maker Devro (DVO) fattened 3.2% to 195.2p as trading was in line with the Board's expectations.

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 60.8% to 95.7p.

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. Shares in the firm fell 26% to 5.5p.

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 15.7% to 25.5p.

Investors were relieved that Kefi Minerals (KEFI) confirmed the company and government of Ethiopia finalised the Tulu Kapi community resettlement plan, sparking a 20% jump in the share price.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: GKN

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