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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE 100 led up by banks, miners despite ex-divs

29 June 2017 09:00

Shares in London embarked Thursday mixed, with blue chips led higher by banks, miners and insurers.

In early deals, the FTSE 100 was up 42.29 points, or 0.57%, to 7430.09. The FTSE 250 was down 27.87, or 0.14%, to 19,448.5.

Sterling was up against the dollar. European markets were overall firmer, after Wall St gains overnight.

HSBC (HSBA) led blue chips up with a 4.31% rise to 716p. Barclays (BARC), up 1.66% to 206.83p, and Lloyds (LLOY), up 1.4% to 67.53p, were following, with more lenders behind.

General miners were led by Anglo American (AAL), up 3.88% to 1051.25p, with Rio Tinto (RIO), Glencore (GLEN), BHP Billiton (BLT) and Antofagasta (ANTO) all up 1.9%-2.75% as industrial metals prices rose.

Randgold Resources (RRS), down 0.04% to 6967.5p, said the feasibility study on its Massawa gold project in Senegal is scheduled for completion by the middle of next year, when a final decision on its development will be made.

To the downside, Royal Mail (RMG), down 3.21% to 414.05p, IAG (IAG), down 2.1% to 616.75p, and Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), down 1.67% to 2297p, were among a long list of ex-dividend issues.

Also lower were a string of house builders, utilities and pharmas.

In the news, Tesco (TSCO), up 0.41% to 172.45p, said it has now requested that the Competition & Markets Authority uses the 'fast track' process to allow it to move more quickly to examining the proposed merger with Booker via a detailed Phase 2 process.

Ex-dividend Babcock International (BAB), down 0.89% to 887p, has been awarded a new contract by the Norwegian government to provide communities across Norway with vital air ambulance support.


Utilitywise (UTW) fell 30.28% to 76p on stating it had been made aware of apparent material levels of under-consumption in certain contracts placed with one of the major energy companies dealt with by the group.

New Trend Lifestyle (NTLG) fell 25% to 1.5p after commenting that trading conditions in Singapore remained tough throughout the year, as expected. Its performance in the year was poor, with sales down and group pretax loss widening.

Westminster Grop (WSG) rose 14.95% to 15.38p on stating the business was now in a better position than it had been for some time. "We continue to expand our international presence including the establishment of subsidiaries and an operational office in Germany which will provide strategic support for our projected growth."


Aggregated Micro Power (AMPH) rose 12.75% to 115p after improving its FY rpetax profit to £0.93m, from a loss of £7.6m for the preceeding 15-month period. It said the acquisition of a 50.1% stake in Highland Wood Energy bolstered its Scotland presence.

Sphere Medical Holding (SPHR), up 9.38% to 8.75p, said its Proxima bedside blood gas monitoring system was now compatible with Philips IntelliVue Patient Monitoring Systems through the Philips IntelliBridge Interface Module.

JD Sports Fashion (JD.), down 8.8% to 362.8p, said its growth in like-for-like store sales and significant growth in its online sales have been in line with expectations. Harvey Nash (HVN), up 2.68% to 81.5p, is performing in line with expectations and ahead of last year, despite geo-political headwinds including the UK General Election.

DS Smith (SMDS), up7.94% to 479.35p, and US subsidiary DS Smith Holdings Inc have agreed to acquire 80% of the total issued share capital of Indevco Management Resources Inc (IMRI), the holding company for the Interstate Resources Inc (IRI Group). Consideration was about $920m.

Harwood Wealth Management Group (HW.), up 6.15% to 172.5p, said its assets under influence rose 94% to £3.3bn at the end of April (H1 2016: £1.7bn). Adjusted EBITDA rose 64% to £1.8m (H1 2016: £1.1m).

HgCapital (HGT), up 3.48% to 1665p, has announced a further investment into Visma Group Holdings, a leading provider of business-critical software to SMBs in the Nordic and Benelux region.

Wood Group (WG.), own 2.95% to 641p, said its H1 performance is down on 2016 and weaker than anticipated, as it remains more cautious on its FY outlook but anticipates a stronger second half. It separately confirmed the award of a multi-million dollar contract in Canada.

Greene King (GNK), down 1.02% to 681.5p, has reported another set of record results following continued market out-performance. Revenue rose by 6.9% to a record £2,216.5m, and operating profit before exceptional and non-underlying items increased by 4.9% to £411.5m.

Other stocks in the news included Hutchison China MediTech (HCM), AstraZeneca (AZN), Cohort (CHRT), Purplebricks (PURP), Redde (REDD), Babcock (BAB), Real Good Food (RGD), Anpario (ANP), Stobart (STOB), Civitas Social Housing (CSH), Mayan Energy (MYN), Marlowe (MRL), Impact Healthcare REIT (IHR), ReNeuron (RENE) and Sirius Minerals (SXX).

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