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FTSE falls as utility stocks struggle

27 June 2017 16:58

Weaker utility stocks dragged on the performance of the FTSE 100, which closed 0.2% lower at 7,434.

Electricity and gas giant National Grid (NG.) fell 2% to 984.6p and water firm Severn Trent (SVT) was down 1.8% to £22.64.

SSE (SSE) retreated 1.4% and United Utilities (UU.) ticked 1.4% lower.

There was bad news from struggling British department store chain Debenhams (DEB) as it warned of volatile UK trading, which could drag pre-tax profit to the lower end of the company's expectations.

Shares in the company fell 2.2% to 43.5p as investors were concerned about the grim outlook.

Brent crude oil sparked 2.2% to $46.83 per barrel. Copper and gold were both on a roll at $5,842 per tonne and $1,251 per ounce.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

The tech sell-off continued from yesterday in the US after the European Commission fined Google €2.42bn for abusing its dominance. It found that Google offered an illegal advantage to its own comparison shopping service.

Shares in Google's parent company Alphabet declined by 0.9%. Other heavyweights including Facebook and Microsoft suffered share price weakness, which kept the Nasdaq index firmly in the red.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

According to reports, supermarket Tesco (TSCO) is set to launch a one-hour grocery delivery service to customers in central London in a bid to increase its competitive edge.

Shares in Tesco were up 1.3% to 169p, but its competitors Sainsburys (SBRY) and Morrisons (MRW) failed to rally.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

In corporate news, Northgate (NTG) continued to struggle on the stock market after reporting full year pre-tax profit fell from £77.6m to £72.2m. Shares in the company plummeted by 16.2% to 446p.

Petrofac (PFC) was optimistic about a spate of project bidding activity as it was likely to boost profits in the first half of its financial year. Shares in the firm dipped 2% to 417.6p as investors failed to be won over. The subdued market reaction could be due to previous corruption allegations that have rocked Petrofac of late.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Floor retailer Carpetright (CPR) announced a return to UK like-for-like sales growth, although trading in Europe remained subdued. Investors were relieved that trading was not worse as the stock climbed 10.4% to 198.7p.

Mayan Energy (MYN) raised £587,000 in a discounted share placing and agreed to invest £300,000 into oil and gas firm Block Energy, helping to explain the 42% decline in its share price to 0.2p.

A proposed acquisition of Electric Word (ELE) sparked a 14.8% rally to 3.8p. The training materials provider recommended a 3.93p per share cash offer from Sport Business Acquisitions.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: DEB

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