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Market Wrap - Close

FTSE finishes the week on a high

26 May 2017 16:44

The blue-chip index neared the 7,550 mark on Friday as a weaker pound benefited the multitude of FTSE 100 stocks which generate earnings overseas.

Cruise ship operator Carnival (CCL) and ice cream seller Unilever (UVEL) were among the large caps enjoying at least 1% share price appreciation ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

Brent crude oil was 0.5% higher at $51.71 per barrel.

Gold remained static at $1,255 per ounce, while copper decreased 1.2% to $5,643 per tonne.


US economic growth has been revised upwards for the first quarter of 2017 at 1.2% versus the previous estimate of 0.7%. This news had little effect on the S&P 500 index which was unmoved at 2,414 in mid-morning trading in the US.


Turning back to the UK, FTSE 100 publishing company Informa (INF) impressed investors with a continued improvement in its operating performance in the first four months of 2017. The strong performance contrasted with other struggling publishing houses, sparking a 5.8% rise to 688.5p.

In the property sector, Hammerson (HMSO) exchanged contracts for the sale of Westwood and Westwood Gateway retail parks to clients of BMO Real Estate Partners for £80m. This failed to move the share price at 579.5p.


Acacia Mining (ACA) continued to fight against an export ban of unprocessed ore imposed by the Tanzanian government. The authorities accused Acacia of under-reporting the amount of gold in its previous shipments. Acacia once again denied such actions in a new statement today which helped to win back the market's favour. Following big losses earlier this week, the shares rallied 7.5% on Friday to 285.8p.

Restaurant Group's (RTN) trading update was not as bad as expected. The owner of Frankie & Benny's reported a 1.8% decline in like-for-like sales in the 20 weeks to 21 May, triggering a 10.4% share price hike to 350.6p.

After a mixed performance on the stock market in 2017, private hospital group Spire Healthcare (SPI) was up 0.8% to 340.4p after saying it was on track to meet market expectations for the year to September.

The $435m acquisition of thermal tech firm Chromalox was a winning deal for engineer Spirax-Sarco (SPX) as the stock gained 8.4% to £57.60.

Product testing firm Intertek (ITRK) fell 0.4% to £42.95 as it revealed a 15.4% decline in sales from its resources division.


Rex Bionics (RXB) crashed 80% after closing a deal to offload its operating business, together with plans to delist from AIM.

Ncondezi Energy (NCCL) suspended exclusive discussions with Shanghai Electric Power concerning its joint development deal. A fifth of its value was wiped off as the stock plummeted to 1.5p.

In the oil and gas sector, Anglo African Oil & Gas (AAOG) re-perforated the TLP-102 well, but failed to get the oil to rise to the surface. The disappointing update frustrated the market as the stock slumped 19% to 22.2p.

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