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Market Wrap - Midday

Investors worry about consumer-facing stocks after Greene King woes

08 September 2017 11:48

The UK's largest pub retailer Greene King (GNK) was the biggest mid-cap faller this morning. Its share price fell 11.2% to 584.9p after like-for-like sales declined 1.2% in the 18 weeks to 3 September.

The company blamed weak trading on bad weather in July and warned it expected other challenges such as lower consumer confidence, higher costs and intense competition to continue.

The underwhelming trading had a negative read-across for blue-chip companies which rely on consumer spending.

Marks and Spencer (MKS) and Kingfisher (KGF) slipped 2.5% and 2.7% to 319p and 290.6pp, respectively. Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB) was also among the casualties, down 2% to £37.15.

The FTSE 100 was trading 0.4% lower at 7,367 around midday.

Brent crude oil increased 0.5% to $54.77 per barrel. Gold rose 0.6% to $1,353 per ounce and copper slumped 1.6% to $6,768 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Wall Street was cautious after big brands such as Walt Disney and Comcast warned of financial risks from Hurricane Irma. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,465 overnight.

Investor sentiment was also subdued in Asia with Japan's Nikkei 225 taking the biggest hit of 0.6% to 19,274 today.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

A profit warning at Safestyle UK (SFE) hit the share price hard, plummeting 29% to 166.8p. The door manufacturer reported that order intake declined beyond expectations, affecting the firm's full year profit. Safestyle also warned of 'accelerating weakness in the market resulting from increasing consumer caution.'

Benchmark Holdings (BMK) sunk 12.9% to 44p after reporting contributions from its new sea lice treatment were unlikely to be recognised in the year to 30 September 2017. The farming supplier blamed a delay to commercial field trials which are unlikely to start before the end of 2017.

Daily Mirror owner Trinity Mirror (TNI) said it was in talks to buy 100% of the publishing assets of OK! magazine publisher Northern & Shell. Shares in the company were up 0.5% to 91.1p.

Gold exploration business Stratex (STI) slumped 16.2% to 1.1p after a group of shareholders requested a meeting to discuss the direction of the firm and block the acquisition of Crusader Resources.

Shares in mattress manufacturer Eve Sleep (EVE) were flat at 80.2p despite a major retail agreement with Germany department store chain Karstadt.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: GNK

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