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Slump in consumer stocks pushes FTSE lower

08 June 2017 16:52

Consumer stocks weighed on the FTSE 100's performance, which closed 0.4% lower at 7,449 as UK voters continued to vote in the snap general election.

Ice-cream-to-mayonnaise seller Unilever (ULVR) fell 1.7% to £42.69 and Nurofen owner Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) declined 1.5% to £78.52.

Diageo (DGE), which sells alcohol including the Smirnoff and Baileys brands, ticked 1.9% lower to £22.85.

In Europe, the European Central Bank rose its forecasts for growth in the Eurozone, but kept interest rates steady.

Brent crude oil was flat at $48 per barrel. Gold plummeted by 1.3% to $1,273 per ounce, while copper jumped 1.7% in the other direction to $5,710 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

On Thursday, the S&P 500 opened 0.2% lower as investors focused on former FBI director James Comey's hotly-anticipated appearance in front of Congress.

It was already proving to be electrifying after Comey accused the US President of defaming both himself and the FBI when he said they weren't doing their job.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Auto Trader (AUTO) warned new car registrations were likely to decline in 2017 as more people were expected to buy cheaper used cars and display advertising growth was anticipated to slow. The downbeat outlook overshadowed decent full year results as the stock was marked 3% lower to 418.5p.

Scandal-hit Petrofac (PFC) rallied 4.1% to 363.4p on a long-term framework agreement with Petroleum Development Oman to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services. Shares in Petrofac recently dived after its chief operating officer Marwan Chedid was suspended over alleged corruption.

Elsewhere, Workspace (WKP) confirmed media speculation that it was 'in discussions' concerning the potential acquisition of Salisbury House for £158m. Investors were optimistic that a deal was on the cards as the stock gained 3.7% to 909.5p.

The market was unimpressed by Ultra Electronics' (ULE) contract win valued at $10m from the UK Ministry of Defence as the stock was marked 1.7% lower at £20.97. The electromechanical systems manufacturer reported its oceans systems business would produce two variants of its Submarine Countermeasure Acoustic Device for the Royal Navy's submarine fleet.

Allied Minds (ALM) failed to gain momentum at 135.5p after Jull Smith's appointment as chief executive officer and its decision to bring in Peter Dolan as chairman. Since the sudden and unexplained departure of its chief executive Chris Silva in March, the tech commercialisation business has struggled on the market.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Among the small caps, investors cheered Bellzone Mining's (BZM) provisional agreement with Guinean ministers over the Kalia mine. The stock rocketed by over 243% to 1.1p.

This wasn't the only deal making a splash as tech firm Molins (MLIN) announced a conditional agreement with packaging solutions provider Coesia's subsidiary G.D. The agreement was to sell its instrumentation and tobacco machinery division for £30m, sparking a 29.6% rally to 102.4p.

Online fashion firm boohoo.com (BOO) was 17.7% up at 259.7p on expectations of 60% full year revenue growth thanks to strong trading. This beat previous expectations of 50% sales growth.

Flybe (FLYB) flew 3% higher to 34p despite dropping into the red in the year to March thanks to lower than expected IT write-downs of £4.8m.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: AUTO

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