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Market Wrap - Close

FTSE lacks direction after inflation data

18 July 2017 16:39

At the close, the FTSE was slightly lower at 7,407 as investors digested a lower than expected reading of inflation.

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 3.3% to 624p.

Peer Land Securities (LAND) is up 1.5% to £10.25.

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 0.6% to £34.50 on the announcement. BHP Billiton (BLT) was also down 0.7%.

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.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

On Wall Street stocks opened slightly lower as a negative reaction to results from Goldman Sachs and Bank of America overshadowed more positive news from Lockheed Martin and consumer goods giant Johnson & Johnson.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

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 3.1% to 411.1p.

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 5.5% to 70.6p.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

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 16.4% higher to 646p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Inspirit Energy (INSP) was among the biggest small cap risers after the firm announced it exceeded a key development target, which boosted the share price by 4.8% to 0.11p.

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 16.2% to 215.5p.

Growth in the UK and Continental Europe provided a welcome boost for Headlam (HEAD). The floor covering distributor advanced 3.3% to 562p on the positive pre-close trading update.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: BLND

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