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Market Wrap - Midday

ITV rises despite drop in pre-tax profit

26 July 2017 12:00

Investors had already priced in a drop in pre-tax profit at broadcaster ITV (ITV). Profit fell from £425m to £381m in the first half.

ITV hiked its interim dividend by 5%, helping the shares rise 2.2% to 180.6p.

Consumer and utility stocks helped the FTSE rally 0.4% to 7,464.

Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) and alcohol seller Diageo (DGE) were up 2% and 1.3% to £29.55 and £22.75, respectively.

Water company Severn Trent (SVT) and United Utilities (UU.) rose approximately 0.6%.

The UK economy was estimated to have increased by 0.3% between April and June thanks to the retail sector, film production and distribution according to the Office for National Statistics. This was in line with expectations.

The services sector grew at a slower rate of 0.2% over the same period, down from 0.4% in the three months to February.

Brent crude oil surged 4% to $50.69 per barrel. Gold cheapened 0.3% to $1,250 per ounce while copper gained 3.7% to $6,261 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Big Mac seller McDonald's and engines develop Caterpillar dominated the Dow Jones following a set of strong results.

Overnight, the index closed 0.5% up at 21,613.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

A decline in the trading margin from 8.6% to 8.4% in the first six months of 2017 dragged on engineer GKN's (GKN), prompting a 0.3% share price decline to 326.8p.

Elsewhere in the FTSE, food service firm Compass (CPG) benefitted from a 3.9% boost in organic revenue growth in its third quarter of the year. The company reported good progess in Europe, new business in North America and an improving environment in the rest of the world. The stock gained 1.8% to £16.29.

Among the miners, Antofagasta (ANTO) was up 2.7% to 947p despite increasing copper production by 7.1% to 346,300 tonnes.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Pub and brewery Marston's (MARS) fell 3% to 117.7p despite like-for-like sales continuing to be ahead of expectations.

The market was willing to overlook Tullow Oil's (TLW) slip into a pre-tax loss of $519m in the first half of 2017 from a profit of $24m a year earlier as the stock advanced 7.9% to 160.3p.

PayPoint One, card payment transactions and cashpoint payments bode well for PayPoint (PAY). The company said revenue grew 4.2% to £28.4m in the three months to June, which pushed the stock 2.6% higher to 882.5p.

Banking group Paragon (PAG) advanced 6% to 432.5p thanks to strong trading in the quarter to 30 June, while new lending in the year to date hit £1.34bn, up from £1.19bn.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Robert Walters (RWA) unveiled a record first half to June 2017 thanks to a 62% jump in operating profits to £16.2m. Shares in the staffer were up 4.7% to 452.7p.

Huntsworth (HNT) said headline profit before tax rose 58% to £10m in the six months to the end of June, helping the share price tick 5% higher to 65p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: ITV

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