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FTSE rides momentum thanks to strong healthcare and oil stocks

12 July 2017 16:54

A rally in healthcare and oil stocks kept the positive momentum going in the FTSE 100, which closed over 1% higher at 7,416.

Oil giants BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) ticked 1.7% and 1.6% higher to 450.1p and £20.89, respectively.

As the stocks are among the biggest in terms of market cap, the gains helped to support the blue-chip index.

Brent crude oil advanced 0.4% to $47.74 per barrel. Gold and copper sparked 0.4% to $1,219 per ounce and $5,908 per tonne.

Mediclinic (MDC) jumped 4.6% to 741.5p, Shire (SHP) rose 2.7% to £42.73 and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was up 1.7% to £16.30.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Wall Street was in good spirits ahead of Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's testimony about US central bank policy later today. The S&P 500 was up 0.6% to 2,441.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

According to media reports, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to pay £4.2bn after it was claimed to have mis-sold billions of dollars worth of bad mortgage-backed bonds. The stock fell 1.9% to 251.5p on the news. A resilient performance in the UK and higher online spending in China bode well for luxury trenchcoat brand Burberry (BRBY). Sales were up 3% to £478m in the three months to the end of June and the stock was marked 3.1% higher to £16.30.

Elsewhere in the blue-chip index, UK housebuilder Barratt Developments (BDEV) nudged up 0.8% to 589.5p as the company anticipates full year pre-tax profit to rise from £682.3m to £765m, ahead of expectations.

Shares in Micro Focus (MCRO) were going in the opposite direction, down 8% to £20.20. The software product group warned that sales for the six months to 31 October 2017 would be broadly flat compared to the same period in 2016.

Tesco's (TSCO) planned takeover of Booker (BOK) could be delayed following a confirmed in-depth investigation into the deal by the Competition and Markets Authority over competition concerns. Despite the news, Tesco was unmoved at 170.7p.

UDG Healthcare (UDG) acquired US-based healthcare management consulting firm Vynamic for $32m, although this failed to fire investors' imaginations as the stock dipped 1.8% to 828.5p.

San Francisco's ban on sales of flavoured tobacco and caution over future sales from Investec failed to topple British American Tobacco (BATS). Shares in the cigarette seller were 1.9% higher at £52.78.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Among the mid-caps, airport food seller SSP (SSPG) was up 0.6% to 486.8p as its third quarter trading upbeat expectations. SSP reported like-for-like sales growth of 3.6%.

It was bad news for Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW), which is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. The probe would focus on Amec's work with Unaoil and potential corruption offences. This saw its share price slump by 5.5% to 430p.

Good weather and a later Easter helped strong trading at discount retailer B&M (BME). Shares were up 1.6% to 340.6p on a 7.3% like-for-like sales jump in its first quarter.

Budget pub JD Wetherspoon (JDW) was flat at 994p despite a 3.9% rise in like-for-like sales thanks to 'unusually good weather.'

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Equiniti (EQN) announced the proposed acquisition of Wells Fargo's share registration and services business for $227m, pushing its shares 9.8% higher to 266.6p.

ASA Resource (ASA) received a takeover offer from Rich Pro Investors at a premium of more than 60% to Tuesday's closing price. Shares in ASA soared 51% to 1.9p.

A 'world-class' oil discovery by Premier Oil (PMO) and joint venture partners Talos Energy and Sierra Oil & Gas caused shares in the Premier to surge 35% to 62.5p. The discovery was at the Zama-1 exploration well in Mexico. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: RBS

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