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Market Wrap - Midday

Higher commodity prices lift miners

25 August 2017 11:40

Miners enjoyed a lift in their share prices thanks to stronger commodity prices, helping the FTSE 100 jump 0.4% to 7,437.

BHP Billiton (BLT) was marked 2.6% higher to £14.54 and Antofagasta (ANTO) was 1.9% up at £10.33.

Struggling Provident Financial (PFG) revealed its plans to bounce back after its profit warning earlier this week.

Executive chair Manjit Wolstenholme announced the company will begin a review of the business and change the management of the consumer credit division, helping to lift the shares 20.2% to 899.4p.

Brent crude oil advanced 0.7% to $52.39 per barrel. Copper gained 0.6% to $6,724 per tonne and gold glittered at $1,287 per ounce.


Wall Street remained subdued ahead of the key annual Jackson Hole meeting, which includes speeches from US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.

Investors will be looking for hints on the future direction of monetary policy.

Overnight, the S&P 500 closed 0.2% lower at 2,438.

Asian equities fared much better, with China's SSE rallying 1.8% to 3,331 this morning.


Back in the UK, Aviva (AV.) said Aviva Italia exercised an option to sell its entire 50% shareholding in its joint venture in Italy, Avipop Assicurazioni and its wholly owned subsidiary Avipop Vita to Banco BPM. The news did little to move the share price at 526.5p.


Shares in Computacenter (CCC) catapulted 13.4% to £10 as trading is anticipated to be marginally ahead of expectations. Adjusted pre-tax profit nearly doubled from £25.3m to £41.9m in the first half of 2017.


Consultancy WYG (WYG) crashed 40.2% to 55p after announcing that operating profit for the half year is anticipated to be 'significantly' lower than the prior year.

The company blamed the warning on two major contracts taking longer than expected to start, a lull in activity in Turkey and lower than expected volumes in certain framework contracts.

Mercantile Ports & Logistics (MPL) signed its first binding customer contract to manage cargo at its port facility, driving a share price rally of 65% to 8p. Under the contract, MPL said it expects to generate revenue of approximately £4.7m for every one million tonnes handled, with a built-in escalation of 7% per annum.

Hazardous waste expert Augean (AUG) slumps 43.9% to 32.2p as it reports it has received a landfill tax bill of £2.1m (including interest), the company plans to appeal.

Nanoco (NANO) cautioned that the adoption of its manufactured cadmium-free quantum dots continued to be slower than expected, while protracted regulatory change restricting the use of cadmium was unhelpful. Shares in the firm slumped 7.3% to 27.4p.

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