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FTSE 100 payments group surges on bid interest

04 July 2017 17:05

Shares in payments processing firm Worldpay (WPG) soared by 27.7% to 408p on two takeover approaches by Vantiv and JP Morgan Chase Bank, but it wasn't enough to lift the overall FTSE 100 index, down 0.3% at 7,357.

Elsewhere on the FTSE 100, stronger mining stocks failed to offset weakness in utility stocks.

Randgold Resources (RRS) and Fresnillo (FRES) advanced 2% and 1.1% to £68.50 and £14.83 on rising gold prices.

United Utilities (UU.) and National Grid (NG.) declined over 1% to 857.5p and 942p, respectively.

High street bank HSBC (HSBA) nudged 1.1% down to 721.7p on a broker note from Berenberg, which recommended investors take profit. It argued that the excess cash at HSBC highlighted by Morgan Stanley in June was now fully priced in to the company's stock market valuation.

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) dropped 0.6% to £12.21 and Ashtead (AHT) fell 1.2% to £15.65.


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 0.3% to 249.6p.


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 5.2% to 517p.

Brent crude oil was flat at $49.73 per barrel. Gold glittered at $1,223 per ounce and copper fell 0.5% to $5,886 per tonne.


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 37.5% to 0.1p.

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 9.2% to 156.7p.

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 27.4% to 172.5p.

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

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Related Company: WPG

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