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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE 100 member reveals two takeover approaches

04 July 2017 12:07

The FTSE 100 was down by 0.2% to 7,365 but everyone was talking about bid interest for one of the blue chip index's constituents.

Payments processing firm Worldpay (WPG) said it had received preliminary takeover approaches from Vantiv and JPMorgan Chase Bank, prompting a 21.3% rally in its share price to 387.5p.

Elsewhere on the FTSE 100, there was share price weakness in high street bank HSBC (HSBA) and Vodafone (VOD).

HSBC was down 0.7% to 724.7p and Vodafone ticked 0.6% lower to 217.3p.

There was also weakness in British American Tobacco (BATS), Nurofen owner Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) and oil giant BP (BP.).

In the UK, the economic outlook continued to look glum as the recovery in the construction sector lost momentum in June.

Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index fell from 56 in May to 54.8 in June. Any reading over 50 signifies growth. Yesterday, Markit revealed that UK manufacturing growth fell to a three-month low of 54.3 in June.

Construction-related stocks were down on the disappointing data. Kier (KIE) dipped 1% to £12.16 and Ashtead (AHT) fell 1.3% to £15.63.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.4% to $49.49 per barrel. Gold gained 0.4% to $1,223 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.6% to $5,864 per tonne.


North Korea fired a missile in the direction of Japan, according to media reports. That weakened investor sentiment in Asia with Japan's Nikkei index down 0.1% to 20,032 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closing 395 points lower (equal to a 1.5% decline) at 25,389.

The US stock market is closed today for Independence Day.


The summer heatwave accelerated sales growth at supermarket Sainsbury's (SBRY) and prompted the shares to rise 1% to 251.6p.


Hungarian airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) carried 23.6% more passengers in June 2017 compared to the same month last year to 2.49m. Irish listed competitor Ryanair (RYA) also revealed a jump in passenger numbers in June, up 12% to 11.8m. Despite the good news, both stocks were flat.

In the oil services sector, Hunting (HTG) benefitted from onshore drilling in the US. Investors were impressed, marking up the stock 2.6% to 504p.


Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) was the biggest small cap riser thanks to an exclusive deal with Western Energy Development. The company said it would invest up to $18.5m in the Oklahoma oil and gas market, boosting Magnolia's share price by 18.7% to 0.1p.

Liquid biopsy company Angle (AGL) had an exciting breakthrough, sending its share price up 2.2% to 69.5p. The firm said its blood test demonstrated the ability to discriminate between benign and malignant pelvic masses before surgery.

Graphic chips designer Imagination Technologies (IMG) was still locked in a battle with Apple after it announced plans to sever intellectual property ties, resulting in a share price crash earlier this year. In a spot of good news, pre-tax profit bounced back, helping the stock rise 8% to 154.8p.

Illustrated book publisher Quarto (QRT) struggled in the ongoing soft retail environment, meaning it would need to perform a lot better in the second half of the tear to offset weaker than expected trading. Shares in the firm plummeted 29.9% to 166.5p.

Things were looking up for Marshall Motor (MMH) thanks to a strong performance in the 13 weeks to 1 July. The company reported an upbeat full year outlook, and this boosted the share price 5.5% to 144.5p.

Slowing sales growth at HSS Hire (HSS) concerned investors as the stock dropped 3.3% to 59p.

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