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Market Wrap - Midday

HSBC upgrade drives UK stock market

29 June 2017 12:08

A bullish research note on HSBC from analysts at Morgan Stanley helped to put a shine on the banking sector. This, together with a rally in miners, lifted the FTSE 100 index by 0.2% to 7,404.

HSBC could generate significant amounts of surplus cash, according to the research note. This excited investors and gave a lift to some of the bank's quoted peers including Barclays (BARC), up 2% to 207.8p.

The miners benefited from higher metal prices, triggering widespread share price gains in that sector.

Anglo American (AAL) jumped 3.2% to £10.44, Glencore (GLEN) gained 2.6% to 291.5p and Rio Tinto (RIO) advanced 2.3% to £32.27.

Brent crude oil rose 0.3% to $47.47 per barrel. Copper climbed 1% to $5,930 per tonne, but gold fell 0.3% to $1,244 per ounce.


Overnight on US markets, a rally in financial stocks such as JP Morgan and Visa helped the Dow Jones close 0.7% up at 21,454.

The Nasdaq index continued to bounce back from a sell-off earlier this week after the European Commission fined Google $2.42bn for taking advantage of its influence over search engine results. The tech-heavy index surged 1.4% to 6,234.

Asian equities did well on Thursday with Hong Kong's Hang Seng the biggest winner, closing 1% up at 25,943.


Tesco (TSCO) was impatient with the progress of its merger with Booker after the supermarket requested the Competition & Markets Authority use the 'fast track' process. This would speed up the investigation into the proposed merger. Tesco's shares were flat at 171.9p.

Outsourcing group Babcock (BAB) won a new contract win from the Norwegian government but the shares were dragged down 1% to 886.2p as it went ex-dividend.


The difficult retail sector continued to bite on big high street names, such as JD Sports Fashion (JD.). The trainers and sportswear seller warned that margin pressure was limiting sales growth, causing the stock to fall 5.5% to 376p.

A raft of good news bode well for packaging firm DS Smith (SMDS), which gained 4.7% to 464.9p. Alongside strong year results thanks to organic growth, the packaging company also agreed to acquire 80% of Indevco Management Resources for $920m.

Shares in Wood Group (WG.) continued their downward trajectory on a weaker than expected first half performance as further reduction in projects and modifications work dragged on performance. The oil services group fell 2.8% to 641.7p.

Beer brewer and local restaurant chain Greene King (GNK) delivered record sales of £2.2bn in the year to 30 April, but the figures were overshadowed by a warning that challenges to its growth would intensify. Risks affecting the overall industry include higher costs, weaker consumer confidence and greater competition. The stock dipped 0.4% to 685.5p.


Over a third of Utilitywise's (UTW) value was wiped off to 73.2p after it revealed it would have to repay £7.6m worth of commission payments to an energy firm. This was due to several clients it helped get new energy deals using less energy than anticipated.

Disruptive online estate agent Purplebricks (PURP) continued its impressive share price rally on strong full year results with a surge in sales by 150% to £46.7m in the year to 30 April. The stock rose 3.5% to 412.8p.

Poor trading conditions in Singapore hit New Trend Life's (NTLG) share price hard, down 25% to 1.5p. The company reported a poor performance, lower sales and wider pre-tax losses.

Shares in Westminster Group (WSG) surged 15% to 15.3p as the technology security solutions provider said it was in a 'better position than it has been for some time.'

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Related Company: TSCO

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