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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE gains momentum thanks to oil and mining stocks

03 July 2017 12:06

Optimistic export data in Japan set the FTSE 100 into motion, which was up 0.3% at 7,336.

Miners and oil companies also supported the rally, with Glencore (GLEN) and Antofagasta (ANTO) leading the way with gains of 2.9% and 2.4% respectively.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and BP (BP.) increased 1% to £20.82 and 447.1p. As these stocks are among the biggest in terms of market cap, they both exerted a lot of influence on the blue-chip index.

The UK's energy regulator Ofgem announced it could cap bills for some of the most vulnerable consumers and make switching supplier easier. The regulator did not suggest enforcing widespread price caps that were set out in the Conservative manifesto earlier this year.

Investors were relieved as utility stocks Centrica (CNA) and SSE (SSE) ticked 1.4% and 0.5% higher to 203p and £14.60, respectively.

Brent crude oil dipped to $48.72 per barrel. Gold and copper cheapened 0.4% to $1,236 per ounce and 0.6% to $5,908 per tonne.

UK manufacturing growth slowed at the end of the second quarter of 2017, according to Markit's latest data. The Purchasing Managers' Index was at a three-month low of 54.3 in June. Any reading over 50 signifies growth.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

In corporate UK news, water utility firm Severn Trent (SVT) confirmed the sales of its North American business for $62m. The news failed to move the share price at £21.74.

Elsewhere, broadband provider Sky (SKY) invested $2m in early-stage tech firm Circle Media Labs in a bid to provide additional insight for connected devices. The stock remained flat at 985.7p on the news.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

In the world of retail, SuperGroup (SGP) defied a gloomy retail outlook after reporting a jump in profit in the year to 29 April 2017. Shares in the company rose 4.5% to £15.62.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

The market was pleased with Nu-Oil & Gas's (NUOG) latest announcement that it started workover operations on an onshore petroleum lease in Canada, triggering a 44.4% rally to 0.5p.

Frontier IP (FIPP) said portfolio company Exscientia confirmed on Sunday it entered a strategic drug discovery collaboration with pharma firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Shares in Frontier IP surged 11.8% to 42.5p.

WANdisco (WAND) won a new contract with a major American healthcare company, boosting its share price by 8.4% to 642.5p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: SVT

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