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Market Wrap - Midday

Manufacturing surprise puts investors in a good mood

01 September 2017 11:45

Positive manufacturing data in several parts of the world put investors in a good mood and helped to lift the FTSE 100 on the last day of the trading week. In late morning, the blue chip index was 14 points higher at 7,444 which is equal to a 0.19% gain.

Pharmaceutical and mining stocks contributed to the index rally including a 1.4% rise in Shire (SHP) to £38.86 and 1.2% gain in Glencore (GLEN) to 363.5p. Other notable gainers include CRH (CRH), up 1.3% to £27.49; and Rolls-Royce (RR.), up 0.8% to 921.25p.

The pound strengthened following a surge in UK manufacturing activity, nudging ahead to 1.2933 against the US dollar. August's PMI (purchasing managers' index) data beat expectations at 56.9 versus consensus of 55.0. A figure above 50 represents expansion and figure below 50 equates to contraction.

Eurozone manufacturing activity also soared in August with the headline index standing at 57.4 versus 56.6 in July. Even China yesterday said its manufacturing growth had accelerated.

The DAX index traded 0.7% higher at 12,138 and the CAC 40 advanced by 0.8% to 5,126. In Asia, the Hang Seng slipped 0.06% to 27,953 and the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.2% to 19,691.

The market eagerly awaits US jobs data which is published at 1.30pm UK time.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Pharma group Indivior (INDV) warned of threat to a key product after a legal setback, sending its shares plummeting 35.7% to 267.95p. The company said it would appeal a US court ruling which said a proposed generic opioid addiction by Dr Reddy's did not infringe any of Indivior's patents. It said the launch of a direct generate substitute to its Suboxone product could see it lose up to 80% of its market share within a matter of months.

Zoopla's parent company ZPG (ZPG) bought marketing services firm Ravensworth which provides print services for more than 4,500 estate agent branches in the UK. Its shares advanced 2.7% to 361.9p.

Healthcare-focused investment trust Syncona (SYNC) says said investee business Nightstar is to float on the Nasdaq stock market in the US. Nightstar is a clinical-stage gene therapy firm. Syncona's shares trade 2.1% higher at 167.3p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Pawnbroker Ramsdens (RFX) revealed half year and full year pre-tax profit would be 'significantly ahead' of market expectations. It has benefited from strong summer trading, a rising gold price boosting its precious metals buying and pawnbroking operations, and from jewellery retail initiatives. Its shares jumped 16.7% to 167.5p.

A five year master supply agreement put the spotlight on EG Solutions (EGS) and sent its shares up 2.2% to 139p. The deal is with an existing (unnamed) customer and makes EG Solutions the preferred supplier of back office workforce optimisation solutions for at least five years. The contract is valued at a minimum of £8.12m.

Electronics group Stadium (SDM) is to pay £2.8m for PowerPax UK, a business serving the industrial power supply market. The company says it will see the full financial benefits of the acquisition from 2018 onwards. Investors liked the news, sending its shares up 4.8% to 132p.

Eland Oil & Gas' (ELA) latest production report is described as 'solid' by Canaccord Genuity analyst Charlie Sharp who expects further good news in the next couple of months. He has a 90p share price target, implying nearly 60% upside from the current 56.63p price over the next 12 months. Eland says it has produced more than 1m barrels of crude oil gross from its OML 40 field in the past three months.

Car seller Vertu Motors (VTU) reassured the market that trading was in line with expectations. It has undertaken a sale and leaseback of freehold property on a dealership in Leeds. The £14m sales price is higher than the £10m book value of the property.

The market shrugged off poor half year results from AIM-quoted TechFinancials (TECH) which provides technology to financial trading brokers. It revealed that revenue, profit, gross margin, cash and earnings per share had all declined in the six month period. The company blamed the poor performance on losing its largest customer and tougher regulation in Europe which has impacted demand for its B2B software licensing operations.

Cinema operator Everyman Media (EMAN) has moved into profit for the six months of 2017 versus the same period last year. It reported £783,000 pre-tax profit on sales of £18.8m. Current trading was said to be fine and it plans to open new sites in York, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and London. The leisure company's shares rose 6.7% to 168p. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: INDV

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