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Market Wrap - Midday

Dixons Carphone struggles as housebuilders rally

24 August 2017 11:59

Dixons Carphone (DC.) was the latest company to downgrade profit expectations this week, causing investors to wipe off nearly a third of its market value, the stock trading at 180.9p.

The electrical retailer said full-year pre-tax profits were likely to be down on last year due to more expensive mobile phones and lower EU roaming charges.

A rally in the housebuilding sector helped the FTSE 100 gain positive momentum, up 0.4% to 7,410.

Persimmon (PSN) led the way, up 1.8% to £26.27, while Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and Barratt Developments (BDEV) made smaller jumps of 1.4% each.

Another noticeable riser was British American Tobacco (BATS), which rose 2.1% to £48.30.

Brent crude oil was 0.4% to $52.36 per barrel and gold retreated 0.2% to $1,285 per ounce.

Copper rallied in the opposite direction, up 0.9% to $6,636 per tonne.

Growth in the services industry grew by 0.5% in the quarter to June 2017, compared to the first quarter of 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The statistics institute also revealed that the UK economy grew at 0.3%, unchanged for the second quarter.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Stocks were down across the board in the US after President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the government if Congress failed to fund the Mexican border wall.

The Dow Jones index suffered the biggest hit, down 0.4% to 21,812 overnight.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

In corporate news, CRH (CRH) agreed a $2.6bn divestment of Americas Distribution and €0.6bn acquisition of Fels in Europe, prompting the share price to rise 3.2% to £27.77.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Energy services group Hunting (HTG) gained 4.1% to 434.9p after reporting strong growth in Hunting Perforating Systems, driven by onshore shale drilling activity in the US.

Life insurance firm Phoenix (PHNX) more than doubled operating profit to £215m in the first six months of the year, prompting investors to mark the stock 2.3% up to 790p.

Online gaming software supplier Playtech (PTEC) reported average daily sales in the gaming division fell 9%, which it blamed on 'an unusually strong second quarter.' Shares in Playtech declined 0.8% to 985p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Accommodation provider Snoozebox (ZZZ) was the top performing small cap thanks to a new contract. The company announced a semi-permanent contract to provide 80 V1 rooms configured as workforce accommodation in a remote area of the UK for a year, causing the shares to surge 25.2% to 0.3p.

Oilex (OEX) confirmed that the EP-IV tight siltstones at its Cambay field in India can be effectively stimulated, and that commercial gas flow rates are 'potentially achievable' sparking a 4% jump to 0.2p.

Utilitywise (UTW) dimmed 5.8% to 69p despite the company performing in line with expectations in the year to 31 July 2017. The energy consultancy said pre-tax profit would be down by 40% due to the deferral of several renewal contracts, which was announced earlier this year.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: DC.

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