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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE flat as weak miners weigh on performance

18 July 2017 11:56

At midday, the FTSE was unmoved at 7,401 as gains in property-focused stocks failed to fully offset weakness among mining stocks.

Real estate firm British Land (BLND) said it intends to allocate £300m of capital for a share buyback, alongside a strong trading update, boosting its shares by 2.7% to 620.5p.

Peers Land Securities (LAND) and Barratt Developments (BDEV) rose 1.7% and 0.9% to £10.28 and 591.5p respectively.

Accelerated rail track maintenance hit Rio Tinto's (RIO) pilbara iron shipments, which fell 6% compared to the second quarter of 2016 to 77.7 million tonnes. The stock fell 1.7% to £34.11 on the announcement.

Anglo American (AAL) and BHP Billiton (BLT) were also down by as much as 1.7%.

Brent crude oil ticked 0.4% higher to $48.63 per barrel. Gold and copper were stable at $1,236 per ounce and $5,996 per tonne.

In economic news, the Consumer Prices Index was 2.6% in June, down from 2.7% according to the Office for National Statistics thanks to lower fuel prices. While this marked the first fall since April last year, inflation remains at more elevated levels than in recent years.

In the UK, average house price growth slowed to 5% in the year to May 2017, down from 5.6% in the year to April 2017.


On Wall Street, US equities were higher as investors anticipated a slew of results this week from major companies.

After the US stock markets closed overnight, Netflix revealed a larger than expected rise in subscribers.


UK delivery service Royal Mail (RMG) said it performed better than expected in its letters division despite continued business uncertainty. Shares in the firm advanced 3.2% to 411.4p.

Carillion (CLLN) continued to bounce back from last week's profit warning after announcing its joint venture won the HESTIA North and Scotland and Northern Ireland soft facilities contracts. The contracts are worth £158m, helping Carillion's share price spark 11.5% to 74.7p.


Investors were pleased with a 2.9% hike in the dividend from online trader IG (IGG) following a set of decent numbers. Shares in the company were marked 9.3% higher to 606.5p.


Inspirit Energy (INSP) was the biggest small cap riser after the firm announced it exceeded a key development target, which boosted the share price by 9.5% to 0.1p.

Safestyle (SFE) warned the market of modest revenue growth again in the second half of 2017 and a potential drag on full year profits expectations. Investors were concerned as the stock slumped 11% to 228.5p.

Growth in the UK and Continental Europe provided a welcome boost for Headlam (HEAD). The floor covering distributor advanced 3.9% to 565.5p on the positive pre-close trading update.

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