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Yellen speech hurts dollar and weighs on FTSE

25 August 2017 16:39

A speech by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on financial stability a decade after the onset of the global financial crisis has served to weaken the dollar. That's probably because there was no comment about monetary policy.

Dollar weakness had a negative effect on the FTSE 100 given the index contains a large number of companies who earn money in that currency. Having traded in positive territory before Yellen's speech, the FTSE ended the day flat at 7,411.

The spotlight will shift to European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi who gives a speech at 8pm. The focus is expected to be on the ECB's bond buying programme.

Ahead of that event, US markets held steady with a five point gain in the S&P 500 to 2,443 as of 4.30pm UK time. The Dow Jones was also quiet, trading 48 points higher (or a 0.2% gain) at 21,831.

Yellen said the financial system was safer now than it was, although some adjustments may be needed to regulations.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Financial companies and miners led the way on the FTSE, alongside a second day of strong share price gains from doorstep lender Provident Financial (PFG).

BHP Billiton (BLT) was marked 1.5% higher to £14.38 and Antofagasta (ANTO) was 1.7% up at £10.31.

Provident Financial (PFG) advanced 21.9% to 912p after saying it would begin a review of the business and change the management of the consumer credit division.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in Computacenter (CCC) catapulted 13.3% to 998.5p as trading was anticipated to be ahead of expectations. Adjusted pre-tax profit nearly doubled from £25.3m to £41.9m in the first half of 2017.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Consultancy WYG (WYG) crashed 40% 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 67% to 8.16p. Under the contract, MPL said it expected to generate revenue of approximately £4.7m for every one million tonnes handled, with a built-in escalation of 7% per year.

Hazardous waste expert Augean (AUG) slumped 44.8% to 30.65p after receiving a landfill tax bill of £2.1m. 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 6% to 27.5p. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: PFG

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