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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE traces miners down ahead of Fed rate call

03 May 2017 08:53

London shares began lower as markets took on a cautious hue, along with others across Europe, ahead of the US Federal Reserve's interest rate call tonight.

Miners piloted fallers, while Sainsbury (SBRY), Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) and Imperial Brands (IMB) were in focus on corporate news.

Multi-commodity miners such as BHP Billiton (BLT), off 1.69% to 1149.75p, and Antofagasta (ANTO), lower 1.3% to 798p, fell with the price of copper. A slip in the price of gold dented Fresnillo (FRES), down 0.78% to 1400p.

Sainsbury (SBRY), down 2.09% to 273.65p, has posted a fall in its FY pretax profit to £503m, from £548m, with proposed FY dividend at 10.2 a share, from 12.1p. It said the market remained competitive and the impact of cost price pressures continued uncertain.

ITV (ITV), down 1.44% to 208.45p, said CEO Adam Crozier was stepping down from the board and his role. Ian Griffiths would step up to a newly created combined role of chief operating officer and group finance director.

House builders eased behind Taylor Wimpey (TW.), down 0.68% to 198.35p, and commercial property slipped behind Land Securities (LAND), down 0.67% to 1115.5p. Also lower were multiple financials, notably banks, insurers and investment specialists.

Paddy Power Betfair (PPB), down 0.85% to 8700p, said it lifted its Q1 total revenue by 23% to £416m, and underlying EBITDA by 87% to £111m. Growth was driven by sports, with sportsbook stakes up 18% and margins up 1.3ppts.

Blue chips making progress numbered just 26, with pharmas, consumer goods and some utilities. Shire (SHP) rose 1.27% to 4710.25p, while Pearson (PSON) added 1.74% to 656.75p. Tesco (TSCO) rose 0.41% to 183.75p.

MORE BLUE-CHIP NEWS

Imperial Brands (IMB), up 0.24% to 3772p, said its H1 results were in line with expectations with the group's additional investment programme on track. On a reported basis, revenues rose to £14.3bn, from £12.8bn, but operating profits of £902m were down from £1.0bn.

Direct Line Group (DLG), up 0.76% to 358.4p, said gross written premium for ongoing operations rose by 4.2% in the first quarter with Motor own brands increasing 11.2%.

Sage Group (SGE), up 0.8% to 689p, has posted a statutory H1 pretax profit of £180m, which was down from the restated £242m booked a year previous. It said the results were positive and in line with market views, and that there were clear signs strategy was working.

BIGGER MOVERS

Osirium Technologies (OSI) fell 15.26% to 105.5p on posting a 14-month pretax loss of £1.8m, from a loss for the preceding 12 months of £0.86m.

Porta Communications (PTCM) rose 14.29% to 3p after announcing a string of senior management changes, among them John Foley becomeing non-executive chairman after executive chairman David Wright decided to retire.

CEPS (CEPS) lost 13.43% to 29p after its FY pretax profit fell to £146,000, from £256,000, before the exceptional goodwill charge. Cogenpower (CGP) fell 15% to 8.5p after providing an update on its Q1 operations and working capital.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Innovaderma (IDP) rose 12.16% to 226p after announcing a distribution deal with ASOS for Skinny Tan. "Trading continues to be very robust and revenue growth has continued on its positive momentum with April acheiving the highest-ever monthly revenue."

Premier African Minerals Ltd (PREM), down 8% to 0.58p, said the commissioning of the RHA mine is progressing well and that the company anticipates its first shipment of wolframite concentrate in the beginning of May.

Galliford Try (GFRD), down 7.59% to 1351p, has reported a strong trading performance for the period from 1 January to 2 May but warned the overall result would be impacted by non-recurring costs in Construction.

Trakm8 (TRAK), up 7.27% to 88.5p, has been awarded a contract extension by Direct Line Group, the UK motor vehicle insurance company.

Stellar Diamonds (STEL), up 6.98% to 5.75p, has entered a contract for the Front End Engineering and Design study (FEED) to be conducted for the underground mine development of the Tongo-Tonguma kimberlite dyke diamond project in Sierra Leone.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE), up 4.17% to 0.13p, has received a further MX$3.16m (c.$167,500) from the Mexican tax authority Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT) during April 2017.

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG), down 3.92% to 1.23p, has temporarily withdrawn its planning application to the South Downs National Park Authority in order to progress the acquisition of new site-specific hydrogeological data over and around the Markwells Wood drilling pad.

JD Wetherspoon (JDW), up 2.03% to 1030.5p, said like-for-like sales increased 4.0% and total sales rose by 1.3% in the 13 weeks to 23 April. The group said year-to-date like-for-like sales had increased by 3.5% and total sales had increased by 1.4%.

Other stocks in the news included Halfords Group (HFD), Pennant International (PEN), Wizz Air (WIZZ), Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX), Egdon Resources (EDR), RedT Energy (REDT), Shanta Gold (SHG), Audioboom (BOOM), Volga Gas (VGAS), 88 Energy (88E), Plant Impact (PIM), Kodal Minerals (KOD), Costain (COST), and Kudelski (KUD).

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: SBRY

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