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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE struggles to gain momentum on stronger pound

06 June 2017 11:54

Sterling strengthened 0.2% against the dollar and euro ahead of the UK general election and this weighed on blue chips due to their overseas earnings bias.

The FTSE was flat at 7,525 as healthcare companies, including ConvaTec (CTEC), Mediclinic (MDC) and Hikma (HIK) fell between 0.9% and 4.9%.

Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments (MERL) remained weak on terrorism fears following the London Bridge attack on Saturday as the stock dropped a further 2.7% to 510p.

Brent crude oil stood at $49.46 per barrel, while gold gained 0.9% to $1,291 per ounce.

Copper went in the opposite direction and cheapened 1.4% to $5,555 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

On Wall Street, the S&P was 0.1% down at 2,436 on Monday as investors awaited US data on job openings and labour turnover later today. Expectations were low as the market was underwhelmed by jobs data last week.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Among the blue-chips, wound care product maker ConvaTec (CTEC) was under pressure as its share price slumped 4.9% to 327p after raising £805m through a share placing.

Budget airline easyJet (EZJ) continued to bounce back from recent share price weakness after it revealed a 9.5% jump in passenger numbers in May compared to a year ago. The stock flew 1.1% higher to £13.59.

Remaining with airlines, British Airways commissioned an independent study to investigate the shutdown of its data centre in May that put its systems out of action and stranded 75,000 people. Shares in British Airlines' parent company International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) were down 0.4% at 589.5p.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Online retailer AO World (AO.) failed to break out of its share price slump this year after the company unveiled wider full year losses and warned of a possible UK consumer spending slowdown. Shares in the stock reached a new low in 2017, falling 6.2% to 136p.

In the world of M&A, UK challenger bank Shawbrook (SHAW) rejected a final offer of £868m from private equity groups that want to acquire the business. The stock was broadly unmoved at 338p.

Temporary power provider Aggreko (AGK) remained stable at 874p as investors took the news that its chief financial officer Caroline Cran was leaving after 13 years well. The company said Cran is joining Forth Ports as its new finance head.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Ryanair (RYA) failed to take off despite an 11% rise in passenger numbers in May. Shares in the airline hit an all-time high last week, and nudged lower to 18p following the update.

In the oil and gas sector, Oilex (OEX) posted a disappointing update for its Cambay PSC project, triggering a share price crash of 33% to 0.1p. The company reported that no hydrocarbons were found in well C-23z, while well C-70 only produced a small amount of oil and gas.

Mobile services business MySquar (MYSQ) impressed investors as its sales continued to rise and through significant progress in reaching its monetisation targets.

UK based video tech firm Forbidden Technologies (FBT) struggled to take advantage of its larger pipeline this year as it experienced a slower conversion rate than anticipated. The stock plummeted 20% to 5p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: CTEC

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