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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE falls as miners and consumer stocks underperform

28 July 2017 11:57

High street bank Barclays (BARC) was in the spotlight thanks to a 13% rise in first half pre-tax profit following materially lower losses in its non-core division, helping the share price rise 1.2% to 206.6p.

The FTSE 100 was firmly in the red as weaker miner and consumer stocks weighed on performance.

Fresnillo (FRES) and Antofagasta (ANTO) declined 2.4% and 1.5%, respectively.

Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) and Nurofen seller Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) fell back 1.2% and 2.8% to £29.32 and £73.33.

In other corporate news, British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines' (IAG) flew 1.3% lower to 585p on its latest results. After-tax profit increased 2.3% to €567m in the six months to the end of June 2017.

Broadband provider BT (BT.A) led the blue-chips lower after adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation declined by 2% to £1,785m in the first quarter.

BT blamed higher pension costs, business rates, sport programme rights and investment in customer experience. Shares in the firm slumped 3.4% to 305.7p.

Brent crude oil gained 0.5% to $51.73 per barrel. Copper and gold cheapened 0.4% and 0.2% to $6,305 per tonne and $1,257 per ounce.


A decline in the Dow Jones Transport Average dragged on package delivery firm United Parcel Service and tech stocks underperformed. Overnight, the Nasdaq index was the biggest faller, down 0.6% to 6,382.


News that Rightmove (RMV) boosted its pre-tax profit by 8.7% to £87.5m in the first half of the year failed to spark the share price, which was flat at £42.91.

The market was focused on UBM's (UBM) slow growth of 2.2% for its major exhibitions, prompting the stock to fall 1.5% to 702p. The events company said it will accelerate dividend growth.

The resignation of Rotork's (ROR) chief executive Peter France has dragged the stock 5% lower to 238.8p.

A drop in the operating margin at IMI (IMI) from 12.6% to 12.5% in the first half of 2017 weighed on the share price, which was down 4.9% to £12.21.

Going in the opposite direction was Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM), up 0.7% to 298p on improving momentum in the business and improved organic growth in the second quarter.


Micro cap Boxhill Technologies (BOX) announced it expected to see growth and momentum return to the business later this year, triggering a 31% rally to 0.12p.

An improved performance bodes well for Laird (LRD), up 3.2% to 146.5p. The engineering solutions provider reported encouraging progress across all three divisions and said operating profit rose by 40% to £29.6m in the six months to 30 June.

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