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Market Wrap - Market Open

Moneysupermarket.com profit seen at lower end of estimates

20 July 2017 09:16

FTSE 250 member Moneysupermarket.com (MONY) slumped 10.8% to 320.5p as it warned that operating profit would hit the lower end of consensus thanks to current trends in its energy division.

Elsewhere, the FTSE 100 rallied 0.5% to 7,467 thanks to gains by major utility firm National Grid (NG.) and oil giant BP (BP.).

National Grid advanced 1% to 954.9p and BP ticked 0.8% higher to 449.6p.

United Utilities (UU.) was also up 0.5% to 882.2p.

Brent crude was subdued at $49.75 per barrel. Gold and copper was flat at $1,241 per ounce and $5,952 per tonne.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Ben & Jerry's-to-Marmite seller Unilever (ULVR) reported strong progress against the strategic objectives set out for 2020 and a 3% jump in underlying sales. The stock was stable at £43.50.

Low-cost airline easyJet (EZJ) warned revenue per seat at constant currency for the six months to 30 September 2017 is expected to decline by around 2%, prompting investors to mark the shares 4.4% to £13.55.

International distributor Bunzl (BNZL) made a binding offer for the acquisition of a group of businesses in France and purchased a marketing services business in the UK.

A solid performance at Howden Joinery (HWD) was cheered by the market as the stock rose 1.8% to 437p. The kitchen supplier reported 4% year-on-year growth in the UK.

In the mining sector, Anglo American (AAL) failed to excite despite boosting copper production in the second quarter of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016. Shares in the company were flat at £11.37.

ConvaTec (CTEC) agreed to acquire US-based national distributor of catheter-related supplies Woodbury from MTS Health Investors for $120.5m.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Sportswear retailer Sports Direct (SPD) was up 6.8% at 321.2p despite a near-60% drop in underlying pre-tax profit to 113.7m in the year to 30 April 2017.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

An impressive 20% jump in international sales at Mr Kipling cakes distributor Premier Foods (PFD) sparked a 0.6% share price rise to 39p.

The same could not be said for Mothercare (MTC) as its overseas business continued to drag on performance. The babywear retailer said challenging economic conditions in the Middle East continued and the outlook remained volatile. Investors were concerned about the outlook as the stock dropped 3.7% to 99.2p. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: MONY

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