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Market Wrap - Midday

Shell and BP weigh on FTSE as oil prices drop

28 June 2017 11:42

Weaker oil prices dragged on the performance of oil giants Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and BP (BP.).

Shell slipped 0.4% to £21.16 and BP dropped 0.4% to 458.4p, respectively.

Brent crude oil slid 0.2% to $46.55 per barrel. Gold and copper were unmoved at $1,246 per ounce and $5,842 per tonne.

As the companies are among the biggest in terms of market cap, their valuation decline helped pull the market cap-weighted FTSE 100 index 0.1% lower to 7,429.

Healthcare companies also struggled with wound care firm Convatec (CTEC) leading the sector lower with a 1.3% decline to 326p.

AstraZeneca (AZN) was also weak and was down 0.8% to £53.04.

UK house price growth regained momentum in June, according to Nationwide's latest data. Annual house price growth was up to 3.1%, which was reassuring following a decline in prices over the last three months.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Overnight, Wall Street was in the red after Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell delayed the vote on US President Donald Trump's healthcare bill until after Congress's 4 July recess.

Investors were clearly disappointed by the move as the S&P 500 dropped 0.8% to 2,419.

The decline was small in comparison to the tech sell-off in the Nasdaq index, which closed 1.6% lower at 6,146 after the European Commission fined Google $2.42bn for abusing its dominance.

The European Commission discovered that Google offered an illegal advantage to its own comparison shopping service by unfairly placing it above its rivals.

Shares in Google's parent company Alphabet fell 2.5%, while Facebook dipped 2% and Microsoft retreated 1.9%.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

In UK-listed corporate news, Bunzl (BNZL) was among the top blue-chip performers after buying three new businesses in Spain and Canada. The share price sparked 3.6% to £23.93, helped by news that trading was in line with expectations.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Transport operator Stagecoach (SGC) remained cautious on revenue trends and operating profit in its bus and rail divisions in the UK. Operating profit in the UK bus division fell 11.8% to £121.1m in the year to 29 April 2017. Over the same period, UK rail performed worse as operating profit more than halved to £31m. The shares slumped 9.6% to 184p.

Petra Diamonds (PDL) was also the bearer of bad news with a profit warning. The diamond miner warned that revenue was anticipated to be approximately 8% to 9% below expectations, triggering a 7.2% drop in the share price to 105p.

In the retail sector, Dixons Carphone (DC.) nudged 0.8% down to 293.4p despite a robust set of full year results. It reported a 10% jump in headline pre-tax profit to £501m in the year to 29 April 2017.

Beleaguered oil producer Tullow Oil (TLW) was stable at 152.6p as investors were undeterred by its warning of 'tough market conditions'.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Among the small caps, toiletries manufacturer Creightons (CRL) was a clear winner thanks to a 171% surge in operating profit to approximately £1.5m in the year to 31 March 2017. Shares in the company soared 31% to 31.7p.

Disappointing like-for-like sales at sausage seller Crawshaw (CRAW) failed to excite the market as the stock plummeted 13% to 25.2p. The food-to-go retailer reported a 4.5% decrease in like-for-like sales in the 20 weeks to 18 June as it struggled with a challenging consumer environment.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: BNZL

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