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Market Wrap - Midday

Weaker gold price hits Fresnillo and Randgold

12 September 2017 12:01

As the gold price dropped 0.3% to $1,326 per ounce, Fresnillo (FRES) and Randgold Resources (RRS) declined 2.5% and 2.2% to £15.67 and £78.25.

The FTSE traded 0.3% down at 7,388.

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 8.4% to 371.5p.


Hurricane Irma's downgrade to a tropical storm relieved Wall Street, helping the Dow Jones close 1.1% higher at 22,057 overnight.


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 7.8% to £18.14.


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 unmoved.

Breakdown cover provider AA (AA.) confirmed it had held talks with insurer Hastings (HSTG) concerning a potential combination of their respective insurance arms. Hastings said it was no longer in talks with AA. Shares in AA were up 1.6% at 165.5p.

Housebuilder Redrow (RDW) tumbled 7.3% to 586.3p after founder Steve Morgan sold a 7% stake for £152.8m.


Iofina (IOF) rallied 18.4% to 11.8p 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.

Restaurant chain Tasty (TAST) was unappealing to investors after the company reported a weak trading environment continued to put pressure on sales and margins. The stock slumped 12.9% to 36.5p.

Elsewhere on AIM, audio visual distributor Midwich (MIDW) revealed adjusted pre-tax profit rose 35.6% to £10.3m year-on-year, which pushed the shares 9.3% higher to 430.6p.

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