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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE fails to rally despite rebound in miners

05 May 2017 11:53

Miners rebounded after a tough week on recovering commodity prices and positive corporate news but the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,249.

Brent crude oil was 0.4% higher at $48.58 per barrel, while gold ticked 0.5% higher to $1,233 per ounce.

Copper also advanced 0.3% to $5,533 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Overnight Wall Street held steady despite oil prices hitting a near six-month low, dragging oil companies lower on Thursday.

Asian stock markets were less resilient as equities in Hong Kong and China closed 0.8% lower on Friday.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

The departure of Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG) CEO Richard Solomons in August dragged on the firm's upbeat trading update as the stock fell by 1.9% to £41. The company said he would be replaced by Keith Barr.

Publisher Pearson (PSON) rallied 13.6% to 747.5p as it announced new restructuring plans and revealed first quarter trading was in line with the guidance provided at the time of its FY 2016 results. 2017 operating profit is anticipated to reach £570m-£630m.

British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) was flying high after its operating profits before exceptional items rose to €170m, up from €155m last time. It was a record performance in IAG's traditionally weakest quarter.

Budget airline EasyJet (EZJ) was also on the rise as it flagged encouraging passenger statistics for April. Shares in the firm gained 3% to £12.45.

Retail bellwether Marks & Spencer (MKS) was marked up 4.9% to 375p on the appointment of retailer Archie Norman, famed for his feats at ASDA and Kingfisher (KGF), as its new chairman. This followed the recent poaching of Halfords' (HFD) boss Jill McDonald to head up its clothing, home and beauty business.

Medical equipment firm Smith & Nephew (SN.) was on track to deliver 3% to 4% underlying revenue growth for its full year, sparking a share price rise of 2.4%.

Investors were relaxed about packaging products manufacturer Smurfit Kappa's (SKG) lower pre-tax profit, which fell 15% to €109m, from €128m.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Sepura (SEPU) suffered share price weakness following Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy decision to seek to initiate a review on the recommended cash offer for the company by Hytera Communications. The stock dropped by 27.4% to 11.4p.

Building services outfit T Clarke (CTO) sparked 11% to 87p as it said sales and profits for 2017 would be ahead of current market expectations thanks to successful projects and a stronger order book.

Strategic Minerals (SML) said Rarus, its joint venture partner in Central Australia Rare Earths agreed to sell its remaining shares in that vehicle for £522,500. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: IHG

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