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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE flat as WPP cuts forecasts and housebuilders fall

23 August 2017 09:14

WPP (WPP) slumped 9.2% to £14.37 after downgrading its full year forecasts. The communication services firm said both like-for-like revenue and net sales forecast were now expected to be between zero and 1% growth.

The underwhelming performance was blamed on lower sales in all regions except the UK, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe.

The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,381 as weaker housebuilding stocks also weighed on performance.

Persimmon (PSN) retreated 1.3% to £25.57 and Barratt Developments (BDEV) ticked 1.3% lower to 608.4p.

Taylor Wimpey (TW.) was also down 0.7% to 194.6p.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.5% to $51.62 per barrel. Gold was stable at $1,285 per ounce and copper was down 0.6% to $6,547 per tonne.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

NMC Health (NMC) was among the mid cap risers in early trading, up 4.4% to £25.29, as reported revenues surged by 34% to $775.2m in the first half of 2017. The private healthcare provider also signed a new operation and maintenance contract for the management of its Emirates Healthcare assets.

Playtech (PTEC) agreed to acquire technology, intellectual property and certain customer assets from ACM in a bid to boost its financials division's B2B offering, but this failed to excite investors as the stock was flat at 991.5p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Video games retailer GAME Digital (GMD) was encouraged by recent growth in the UK and Spanish markets, triggering a share price rally of 30.3% to 32p. The company said it expects this momentum to continue into peak trading driven by strong demand for the Nintendo Switch, the upcoming Microsoft's Xbox One X and new games releases.

Shares in Laura Ashley (ALY) were broadly unmoved at 8.6p despite like-for-like sales falling 3.1% in the 52 weeks to the end of June.

EnQuest (ENQ) disappointed the market after announcing overall average daily production for the full year 2017 is anticipated to be in line with the first half 2017 production rate, plus or minus 10%. The stock dropped 8.5% to 29.2p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: WPP

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