skip to content

Market Wrap - Close

Bulls in charge as FTSE recovers

31 August 2017 16:36

Continuing strength in US stocks at the open provides a cue for solid gains from the FTSE 100.

At the close the index of leading UK shares was up 0.9% at 7,430.62, wiping out the losses from earlier in the week on renewed tensions over North Korea.


The S&P 500 opens solidly higher at 2,468.04, putting it on course for a fifth straight positive trading session.


Reports in a business magazine suggested pharmaceutical business AstraZeneca (AZN) had offered to buy Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo, a business magazine reports on Thursday. That sent shares in the Japanese firm soaring before trade was suspended, AstraZeneca was up 2% to £45.44.


Support services business Serco (SRP) gained 8.5% to 117.8p as investment bank UBS upgraded its rating on the stock to 'buy'.

Restaurant Group (RTN) reported a 30% drop in half year underlying pre-tax profit on Thursday, as slowing consumer spending weighed on sales. But shares in the Frankie & Benny's and Garfunkel's owner rallied by close on 10% at 347.8p with investors relieved to hear of a bulging pipeline of growth opportunities and progress with a Frankie & Benny's value proposition despite the dividend staying flat at 6.8p per share.

Online gambling firm 888 (888) has been handed a record £7.8m fine by the Gambling Commission after it failed to protect vulnerable customers. Investors were clearly relieved that the penalty was not more substantial, explaining a near 4% rally in the 888 share price to 263p.

The industry watchdog found 'significant flaws' in the firm's social responsibility processes and highlighted a technical failure which meant 7,000 customers who had chosen to bar themselves from their 888 accounts were still able to gamble.

Asset management software supplier Alfa Financial (ALFA) posted a storming set of half year results, its first since listing back in May. The figures show constant currency revenue growth of 29% and a 20% hike in earnings before interest and tax. The stock advanced nearly 5% to 455p.

British betting company Ladbrokes Coral (LCL) posts a 7% rise in first half operating profits on which it said was due to strong trading online. That growth rate leaves investors fairly cold, the stock up just 0.3% to 118p.

Recruiter Hays (HAS) declared a special dividend of 4.25p per share after posting higher full year profit. The 18% hike in pre-tax profit was supported by growth in continental Europe and improving hiring trends in the UK as the impact of the Brexit vote fades, lifting the share price by 6% to 183p.

Story provided by

Related Company: SRP

Info Point:

To buy or sell shares call our Dealing Room on 0113 243 6941.

Too much jargon? Our glossary will help make sense of things.

Find out more about our Share Dealing Services.

Client Area Access

» Secure Login

» Not registered yet?


Branch Finder

Redmayne-Bentley have High Street branches throughout the UK. Find your nearest branch.