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Market Wrap - Midday

Easter helps retail sales beat expectations

09 May 2017 11:56

Sales figures from the British Retail Consortium for April showed year-on-year growth of 5.6% as the Easter holidays provided a welcome boost, expectations were for a 0.5% increase.

Utilities were under pressure after a weak set of results from German utility Eon and Prime Minister Theresa May's pledge to end 'rip-off' energy bills.

The mining sector bounced back from a slump on Monday after underwhelming data from China. Glencore (GLEN) and Antofagasta (ANTO) led the miners higher.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 7,345.

Brent crude oil nudged 0.2% to $49.44 per barrel.

Gold and copper were flat at $1,244 per ounce and $5,489 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

US equities were flat on Monday as the market had already priced in Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election. There was also news of a possible merger between designer bag maker Coach and its smaller rival Kate Spade.

In Asia, the markets were largely directionless as only the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rallied 1.3% on Tuesday.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Software business Micro Focus International (MCRO) fell 7.6% to £24.45 as it reported a 10% drop in quarterly revenue from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, the US company it said it is in the process of buying. The company agreed the $8.8bn takeover in September 2016.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Bookie William Hill (WMH) enjoyed a solid start to the year as it reported trading is in line with expectations for 2017, although this failed to move the shares at 300.4p.

Payment processor Paysafe (PAYS) ticked 3.5% higher thanks to its continued in line performance. It also reiterated its full year 2017 guidance of low double-digit organic revenue growth.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Consultancy Waterman (WTM) recommended a 140p a share cash offer from CTI Engineering, which valued Waterman at approximately £43m.

Online musical instruments retailer Gear4music (G4M) were hitting the right notes as full year underlying operating profits rose 192% to £2.6m. The stock advanced 4.2% to 628p.

Myanmar-based mobile app developer MySquar (MYSQ) soared 42.2% to 4p after confirming significant progress in achieving its monetisation targets. Average daily revenue reached $5,000 during the first week of May 2017, up from an average of $3,900 in April 2017.

Digital radio products provider Sepura (SEPU) said the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy proposed to accept statutory undertakings set out by parties involved in the company's acquisition by Hytera Communications, effectively giving the green light to the deal. This would be subject to the outcome of public consultation that closes on 10 May.

Mayan Energy (MYN) fell 20% to 1p after announcing encouraging progress in connection with its LM 13 Shallow-Well (LM13) programme. It had also concluded negotiations with a major creditor settling its obligations at a considerable discount.

Troubled collectables firm Stanley Gibbons (SGI), down 5.6% to 8.3p, announced the sale of a major part of its Interiors division. The proceeds will be used to pay down debt.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) agreed to acquire Easter Road Holdings and its subsidiary, Anders + Kern UK for £1.4m. It also proposed to raise £6.5m through a share placing and launched a one-for-100 share consolidation.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: MCRO

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