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Market Wrap - Market Open

JD Sports and Ashtead surge on strong growth

12 September 2017 09:01

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) was the biggest FTSE 350 riser thanks to another set of record results.

Sales rose 41% to £1,367.2m in the 26 weeks to 29 July as the group benefitted from encouraging like-for-like sales growth in stores and online. Shares in the sportswear retailer accelerated 4.4% to 355.7p.

The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,427 despite MPs voting in favour of the EU Withdrawal Bill on Monday night.

Mining stocks were among the top blue-chip performers with Glencore (GLEN) and Rio Tinto (RIO) up 1.8% and 2.2%, respectively.

Another notable riser was Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF), which was up 1.7% as investors tapped into the company following strong results on Monday.

Brent crude oil retreated 0.2% to $53.70 per barrel. Gold fell 0.4% to $1,325 per ounce and copper nudged 0.1% lower to $6,702 per tonne.


Equipment rental firm Ashtead (AHT) was a blue-chip winner following strong first quarter growth. Rental revenue increased 25% to £828.8m and underlying pre-tax profit jumped 30% to £238m, helping the shares gain 5.4% to £17.73.


Energy services company John Wood Group (WG.) said it could proceed with its acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW). This is expected to complete in October 2017 following merger clearance in Mexico. Despite the news, both stocks remained broadly unmoved.


Iofina (IOF) rallied 16.9% to 11.6p on news that it expects to begin construction immediately of its IO#7 plant. Iofina reported that IO#7 is expected to contribute more than a 40% increase in annual iodine production for the company.

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