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Weak miners topple FTSE

31 May 2017 16:45

Miners and utility stocks were among the casualties as the pound remained under pressure following a shock YouGov poll.

Anglo American (AAL), Rio Tinton (RIO) and BHP Billiton (BLT) fell by up to 2.5%, while UK water firm Severn Trent (SVT) and United Utilities (UU.) declined 1.3% and 1.1% respectively.

Against the euro, the pound dipped 0.1% to €1.14.

YouGov's poll predicted a hung parliament after the upcoming UK General Election on 8 June, which unnerved investors in search of political stability.

Dominant consumer stocks such as British American Tobacco (BATS) and ice-cream-to-margarine seller Unilever (ULVR) failed to offset weakness elsewhere as the FTSE 100 retreated 0.1% to 7,519.

Gold glittered at $1,266 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.2% to $5,643 per tonne.

The Irish government confirmed it will float Allied Irish Banks with an expected value of €12bn. This was nearly half the €21bn of state funds put into the bank to help it survive the financial crisis of 2008.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Oil prices continued to slide on Wednesday as Brent crude oil dropped sharply by 3.8% to $49.87 per barrel. This acted as a drag on US equities when Wall Street opened on Wednesday as the S&P 500 was 0.3% lower.

Investor sentiment was subdued in Asia as upcoming elections in the UK, Germany and Italy unsettled the market on Wednesday.

Positive manufacturing data in China helped the SSE Composite advance 0.2% to 3,117.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

UK supermarket Tesco (TSCO) ticked 0.9% lower to 183.6p despite boosting sales by 1.8% year-on-year according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Overall, the 'big four' - Tesco, Sainsbury's (SBRY) ASDA and Morrisons (MRW) grew by 1.6% as its rival discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to grab market share.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Spread betting business IG (IGG) was up 5.5% to 584p as it anticipated revenue and profit to be higher than expected in the year to 31 March 2017 thanks to a strong fourth quarter.

Shares in real estate investment trust Londonmetric Property (LMP) were marked 1% higher to 168.5p after it announced net rental income increased 5% to £82m. It also unveiled the acquisition of three logistics warehouses for £23.9m combined.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

China-based China New Energy (CNEL) was on a winning streak as it won seven contracts in the country since the start of 2017. It said the contracts were to design, supply and install ethanol processing equipment and upgrade its plants. Shares in the stock soared 42.2% to 1.6p.

In the mining sector, Bezant Resources (BZT) slumped 9.8% to 1.04p as investors were unsatisfied with its latest deal. The company signed an agreement with Exumax for the acquisition, commissioning and operation of its first gold-platinum production plant in Colombia.

Elsewhere in the oil and gas sector, Lamprell (LAM) agreed a proposed joint venture for a maritime yard for the construction, maintenance and repair of offshore drilling rigs and vessels in Saudi Arabia. The stock jumped 5.7% to 106.7p.

It was a bad day for water treatment services firm Nature Group (NGR) thanks to a 26% drop in sales and a widened loss before tax to £2.41m in the year to 31 December 2016, causing its shares to fall 9.3%. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: TSCO

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