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Market Wrap - Midday

Perfect storm for markets

29 August 2017 11:38

Several competing factors helped put the FTSE 100 on the back foot today as Brexit talks highlighted divisions between Brussels and London, the continuing cost of Hurricane Harvey became apparent and the launching of a missile over Japan stoked fears of conflict between the US and North Korea.

The top risers are precious metals mining stocks Randgold Resources (RRS) and Fresnillo (FRES) amid a clamour for traditional safe havens.

By midday the FTSE 100 was firmly in the red down 1.2% to 7,312.26 having opened above the 7,400 mark.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

After North Korea's provocative action the Japanese Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.5% at 19,362.55.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Business supplies company Bunzl (BNZL) softened 1.1% to £23.07, despite posting first half results showing further increases in sales and earnings per share, a continuation of its 24 year track record of dividend growth and announcing its first acquisition in China. Some investors are focusing on a 20 basis point decline in group operating margin to 6.6%, mainly reflecting the impact of lower margin business bagged in North America.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Outsourcer Mitie (MTO) was marked down 1p to 264.8p on news the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating the timeliness of a profit warning last September, the first of three earnings alerts in five months. The FCA is also examining 'the manner of preparation and content' of Mitie's accounts for the year to 31 March 2016.

Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group (RTN) soured 5% to 306.7p as investors digest Peel Hunt leisure analyst Douglas Jack's view that its recovery could take longer than expected. Jack has downgraded his recommendation from 'hold' to 'reduce' ahead of half year results (31 Aug) he forecasts will show a near-30% slump in profit before tax to £26.1m.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Home shopping firm Findel (FDL) sparked up 9.6% to 183p on a positive trading statement ahead of today's annual general meeting (AGM). The online value retailer has made a good start to the year, with biggest business Express Gifts growing customers and revenue in the 20 weeks to 18 August and Findel Education seeing an improved performance in recent weeks following a difficult start to the year.

Gift packaging-to-creative play products maker IG Design (IGR) improved another 9p to 392.5p on news of a strong first quarter to June, which combined with a record order book, gives management 'confidence in the outcome for the full financial year'.

X-ray screening systems supplier Image Scan (IGE) surges 17.1% higher to 8.2p as it upgraded guidance for the year to September following a rapid order book increase.

Software and services company Gresham Technologies (GHT) took on 5p at 184p after announcing a third North American bank win for its Clareti software platform in the last nine months.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: RRS

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