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Market Wrap - Close

Another day, another UK large cap profit warning

24 August 2017 16:43

The FTSE 100 enjoyed another positive session, rising 37 points on the day to 7,420. Driving the blue chip index was positive movement from tobacco stocks, together with a decent turn from some of the miners, utility stocks and a rebound from WPP (WPP) following yesterday's trading warning.

On a similar note, FTSE 100 doorstep lender Provident Financial (PFG) enjoyed a large rebound following its profit warning-driven share price collapse earlier this week. Its share ended the day 13.2% higher at 748.31p.

Unfortunately profit warnings continue to arrive on a seemingly daily basis across the market. Today's culprit was Dixons Carphone (DC.) which said full-year pre-tax profits were likely to be down on last year due to a variety of factors including consumers not changing their phones as often. Its shares ended the day 22.3% lower at 176.79p.

Elsewhere among blue chips, housebuilders enjoyed a positive session with notable gains from many of the big players. Persimmon (PSN) was up 2.2% to £26.35 and Taylor Wimpey (TW.) advanced 1.4% to 197p.

On the commodity markets, Brent crude oil was 0.3% lower at $52.30 per barrel and gold retreated 0.2% to $1,289 per ounce.

As for economic data, 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

US markets were static while Asian markets experienced mixed fortunes. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong advanced 0.4% to 27,518 while Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell by 0.4% to 19,353.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

In corporate news on the UK market, CRH (CRH) agreed to sell its Americas distribution business for $2.6bn and buy German aggregates group Fels for €0.6bn, prompting the share price to rise 3.9% to £27.94.

Airline EasyJet (EZJ) fell 4.7% to £12.16 after a broker issued a research note downgrading the stock to 'underperform'.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Food group Greencore (GNC) dropped 8.7% to 190.2p after saying it would stop frozen food production at one of its sites in Florida due to issues in the market. It will shift focus to fresh product offerings, according to an announcement responding to recent share price weakness. Broker Davy estimated the affected production accounted for 2% of group revenue.

Energy services group Hunting (HTG) gained 1.2% to 427.2p 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 up the stock 0.3% to 775p.

Online gaming software supplier Playtech (PTEC) reported average daily sales so far in its third quarter for its gaming division were down 9% compared to the second quarter period. Shares in Playtech were flat at 995.5p, having been weak earlier in the day.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Snoozebox (ZZZ) 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 its shares to surge 28.5% to 0.372p.

Utilitywise (UTW) dimmed 3.8% to 70p 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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