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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE mixed as oilies, utilities drag on blue chips

26 May 2017 08:50

Shares in London got off to a mixed and quite sluggish start, with the FTSE 100 following oil majors, utilities and financials lower. Key European stocks indices were lower in early deals, after Wall St gained overnight.

Not too long after the market opened, the FTSE 100 was down 1.37 points, or 0.02%, to 7516.34, while the FTSE 250 was up 33.27, or 0.17%, to 20,000.8. Gold, silver and copper prices were ahead, as was crude after yesterday's Opec-inspired sell-off.

Intertek (ITRK), down 1.74% to 4239p an one of the top blue-chip fallers, said its revenues rose to £883.5m in the first four months to the year - up 14.2% at actual rates and 1.8% at constant rates. The group said it was on track to deliver its 2017 targets.

Utilities were in focus after United Utilities (UU.), down 1.38% to 1039.5p, with SSE (SSE) falling 0.85% to 1523p and Centrica (CNA) down 0.85% to 203.95p.

Oil majors BP (BP.), off 0.46% to 470.93p, and Shell (RDSA), lower 0.46% to 2101.75p, down as the market continued to react after Opec extended its production pledge into 2018 yesterday.

Financials lower included banks and insurers. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) fell 1.52% to 261.95p, while Barclays (BARC) and Lloyds (LLOY) followed. Aviva (AV.) retreated 0.71% to 527.25p, with Standard Life (SL.) and Old Mutual (OML) chasing.

Supermarkets, a number of miners and consumer goods were broadly lower. Other miners were up, however, while house builders and commercial property were mostly making minor gains.

Hammerson (HMSO), up 0.13% to 580.75p, has exchanged contracts for the sale of Westwood and Westwood Gateway Retail Parks, Thanet, to clients of BMO Real Estate Partners for £80m, having transformed the retail offer since acquisition and significantly increased rents.

Informa (INF), up 4.19% to 677.75p and leading to the blue-chip upside, saw continued improvement in its operating performance in the first four months of 2017 and reconfirmed FY expectations.

BIGGER MOVERS

Ncondezi Energy Ltd (NCCL), down 29.41% to 1.5p, said it has suspended exclusive discussions with Shanghai Electric Power Co., Ltd (SEP) regarding its Joint Development Agreement (JDA).

Rex Bionics (RXB) fell 30% to 1.75p as it confirmed that the transfer of the Rex business to Rex Bionics Pty Ltd, shareholder approval for which was received and announced on 22 May, had now been completed.

Anglo African Oil & Gas (AAOG) fell 18.18% to 22.5p as testing of the R2 reservoir in well TLP-102 confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons and pressure. It had reperforated the well, albeit without achieving flow. Data would be evaluated to determine the best solution and identify further stimulation techniques with the intention of bringing this well into production.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Infrastrata (INFA) fell 16.67% to 0.57p as it said its board had agreed to utilise the remaining share allotment authority available to it to issue new shares to raise £130,000 gross to provide additional working capital for up to a further two months.

Mycelx (MYXR) rose 15% to 57.5p announced a contract win with a new SABIC affiliate customer. The contract was for up to $1.1m.

The Restaurant Group (RTN), up 9.88% to 348.75p, said its like-for-like sales in the 20 weeks to 21 May 2017 declined 1.8%, with total sales down 1.5%, but the company continues to see its FY pretax profit outcome in line with market views.

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG), down 8.63% to 15.88p, plunged to a FY loss of £21.4m, compared with a profit of £5.3m in 2015. There was a write-down of £22.1m relating to Skipper, offset by a write-back of £2.1m in relation to Blythe.

Volvere (VLE), up 8.18% to 727.5p, has improved its FY pretax profit to £1.98m, up from £1.34m. The company had once again achieved record net asset assets per share of £6.17, from £5.69.

Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG), down 7.98% to 56.13p, posted a loss of $29.99m for the 12 months to Dec. 31, 2016, versus a profit of $1.62m for seven months to end-December 2015. Revenue was $32.75m, against $21.38m in the shorter period.

Strategic Minerals (SML), up 6.4% to 3.33p, posted its maiden FY pretax profit for 2016, from a loss a year earlier. Its pretax profit for the 12 months was $351,000, from a loss of $880,000.

Other stocks in the news included Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX), Caffyns (CFYN), Spire Healthcare Group (SPI), 21st Century Technology (C21), Plastics Capital (PCA), SafeCharge (SCH), Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI), Oakley Capital Investments (OCL), JPMorgan Indian Investment Trust (JII), Cerillion (CER), Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO), Deltex Medical (DEMG), Andes Energia (AEN), Eagle Eye (EYE), Caspian Sunrise (CASP) and PPHE Hotel (PPH).

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: ITRK

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