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Miners continue to drag on FTSE

03 May 2017 17:00

Further weakness in the mining sector, as well as struggling supermarkets and healthcare stocks dragged on the FTSE 100.

It dropped 0.2% and closed at 7,234.

In the UK, Markit recorded the sharpest rise in total construction output so far in 2017 as the purchasing managers' index ticked higher to 53.1 in April, up from 52.2 in March.

Overall shop prices decreased by 0.5% from a 0.8% fall in March, which was the shallowest deflation rate since November 2013 according to the British Retail Consortium.

Brent crude oil was flat at $50.43 per barrel.

Gold cheapened 0.6% to $1,247 per ounce and copper slumped 3.5% to $5,577 per tonne.


Wall Street followed tech giant Apple lower as it revealed that sales iPhone sales decreased in the first three months of 2017.

In Asia, markets in Japan and Hong Kong closed 0.7% and 0.3% higher on Wednesday, while China's SSE Composite fell 0.3%.


UK supermarket Sainsbury (SBRY) revealed a fall in its full year pre-tax profit to £503m, down from £548m. It said the market remained competitive and the impact of cost price pressures was uncertain, prompting investors to mark the stock 5.5% lower to 263.9p.

ITV (ITV) suffered share price weakness as investors were disappointed that CEO Adam Crozier was stepping down from the board and his role. Ian Griffiths will step up to a newly created combined role of chief operating officer and group finance director and lead the executive team.

Gambling business Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) was down on its luck as it revealed gross win margins were weak in April as recent high profile events favoured customers.

Cigarette seller Imperial Brands (IMB) unveiled solid first-half results and reported that its additional investment programme on track. On a reported basis, revenue rose to £14.3bn, from £12.8bn, but operating profits of £902m were down from £1bn.

Car insurer Direct Line (DLG) nudged higher despite gross written premium for ongoing operations rising by 4.2% in the first quarter.

Business software firm Sage (SGE) posted a statutory first half pre-tax profit of £180m, up 41% year-on-year, on healthy rise in subscriptions.


Mitie (MTO) was forced to write down millions of pounds from contracts after reviewing its books. The market was relieved that it wasn't worse news and the stock was up 9.4%.

A 20% decrease in gold production in the first three months of 2017 took the shine off Centamin (CEY). The stock fell 4% to 166.3p.

One of the UK's leading construction groups Galliford Try (GFRD) warned non-recurring costs could hit its financials. The market overlooked a strong trading performance for the period from January to May as shares in Galliford fell 9.3% to £13.25.

Budget-friendly pub chain JD Wetherspoon (JDW) was up 4% to £10.52 as like-for-like sales rose 4% in the 13 weeks to 23 April.


Shares in International Personal Finance (IPF) were weak after it issued a disappointing trading update as home credit in Europe declined by 7%.

A pre-tax loss of £1.8m at Osirium Technologies (OSI), nearly doubling year-on-year, dragged the stock 12.4% lower.

A management re-shuffle at Porta Communications (PTCM) triggered a 23% rally to 3.2p. John Foley became non-executive chairman after executive chairman David Wright decided to retire.

A distribution deal with ASOS for Skinny Tan self-tanning products pushed Innovaderma (IDP) into the spotlight. Management was upbeat about its outlook and reported that April achieved its highest-ever monthly revenue. Shares in the business brightened 16% to 234p.

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