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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE falls on ex-dividends and US-North Korea spat

10 August 2017 11:45

As US tensions with North Korea continued to unfold and several blue-chips including Anglo Americans (AAL), Diageo (DGE) and Barclays (BARC) went ex-dividend, the FTSE shed 1.1% to 7,415.

Outside the FTSE, retailer DFS (DFS) continued to struggle as big ticket furniture orders fell in April, May and June. A volatile environment following the snap election results and warm weather made an impact.

DFS cut its earnings guidance towards the lower end of forecasts, causing the stock to fall 6.6% to 215.2p.

Brent crude oil was up 0.7% to $53 per barrel. Copper dipped 0.2% to $6,437 per tonne and gold glittered at $1,278 per ounce.

In general news, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors revealed that the slowdown in the housing market appears to be spreading from London to other parts of the South East.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Following US President Donald Trump's warning that North Korea 'will be met with fire and fury' if it threatens the US, investor sentiment remained subdued.

The Nasdaq was the biggest faller, down 0.3% to 6,352 overnight.

Concern over US-North Korea tensions spread to Asian equities. Hong Kong's Hang Seng took the biggest hit, closing 1.1% lower at 27,444.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Soft drink bottler Coca Cola HBC (CCH) fizzed 7.7% to £25.55 after operating profits rose by 20.8% to €266.4m.

Reports emerged this week that hedge fund manager Crispin Odey is considering taking away support for the takeover of Sky (SKY) by Twenty-First Century Fox owned by Rupert Murdoch. It was rumoured the support might be withdrawn as the £11.7bn deal is seen as undervaluing Sky, but this failed to move the share price at 954p.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

PageGroup's (PAGE) special dividend of £40m failed to get investors excited as the shares nudged 0.2% higher to 501.5p. The recruiter announced the payout after reporting strong growth in several of its international markets.

Property services group Savills (SVS) gained 1.7% to 927.5p thanks to group revenue growth of 7% to £714.4m in the first half of the year and a 5% rise in underlying profit to £48.1m.

Films such as 'Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2' and 'Beauty and the Beast' helped Cineworld's (CINE) results in the first half of 2017. The cinema chains reported a 17.8% jump in sales thanks to a strong box office performance, causing the stock to advance 2.8%.

Greetings card company Card Factory (CARD) was in demand following a 3.1% increase in like-for-like sales in the first half, pushing its share price 1.4% higher to 338.9p.

Challenger bank Aldermore (ALD) was lifted 2.6% higher to 226.7p thanks to profit increasing by over a third. The company said that strong demand from small and medium-sized business was partially behind the strong results.

Mining business Evraz (EVR) reported that core earnings nearly doubled in the first six months of the year to $1.15bn on the back of higher coal and steel prices. The stock was up 1.5% to 269.3p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: DFS

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