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Market Wrap - Midday

Weak miners weigh on FTSE following underwhelming Chinese import data

08 August 2017 12:00

Import data in China missed its forecasts and weakened miners, leaving the FTSE 100 drifting 0.1% lower to 7,527.

Rio Tinto (RIO) was 1.3% lower at £35.90, Antofagasta (ANTO) retreated 0.5% to 951p and BHP Billiton (BLT) nudged 0.5% down to £13.89.

Another noticeable blue-chip faller was cigarette seller British American Tobacco, down 0.9% to £50.10.

Brent crude oil was stable at $52.34 per barrel.

Gold glittered at $1,264 per ounce and copper was flat at $6,415 per tonne.


Stronger consumer and tech stocks offset losses in the energy sector on Wall Street, helping the Nasdaq close 0.5% higher at 6,383 overnight.

The disappointing data from China weighed on the SSE Composite and Japan's Nikkei 225. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng bucked the trend and rallied 0.6% to 27,854 overnight.


Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) remained in the spotlight this week. The gambling firm fell 4% to £72.41 despite operating profit rising by over a fifth to £180m in the first half of the year. Sales were up 9% thanks to good stakes growth and fluctuating currency movements.

On Monday, the bookmaker suffered a share price drop after it announced Worldpay (WPG) chief executive Peter Jackson will replace Breon Corcoran.

Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG) disappointed the market with a decline in revenue per available room of 0.4% in the US in the second quarter, which it blamed on the timing of Easter. Shares in the company slumped 3.6% to £42.53.


Specialist pet retailer Pets at Home (PETS) gained 6.9% to 184.2p thanks to strong results in the first quarter to 20 July, including a 5% jump in sales to £256.5m.

Shares in Bellway (BWY) were flat at £32 as investors overlooked expectations that housing sales in the year to 31 July will rise by over 13% to £2.5bn.

Parent company of Regus, IWG (IWG) revealed a 4% drop in pre-tax profit, prompting shares in the company to plummet 5.2% to 324.2p.

SIG (SHI) cut its dividend by approximately a third from 1.83p to 1.25p in the first half, causing the stock to fall 4% to 163.3p.

Operating profit at Synthomer (SYNT) rose by 10.8% to £71.6m, but this failed to boost the shares as the chemicals company was unmoved at 491.7p.


An 'attractive' offer to purchase publishing house Quarto (QRT) boosted the share price by 14.7% to 159.9p, making the stock one of the best small cap performers today.

Hargreaves Services (HSP) announced that continuing underlying operating profits increased to £9.8m in the year ended 31 May 2017, up from £4.6m last time, helping the stock jump 7.7% to 377p.

Concerns over the uncertain economic and political environment dragged on T Clarke (CTO). Investors marked the stock 13.3% lower to 78p despite a stronger order book of £392m in the first half of 2017.

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