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Market Wrap - Midday

Petra struggles on loan warning and cancelled dividend

18 September 2017 11:59

Petra Diamonds (PDL) was the biggest FTSE 350 faller after cancelling its full year dividend. The miner also warned it would breach banking debt covenants if it didn't start sales from its Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania by the end of 2017. A consignment of diamonds from the mine were blocked from export by the Tanzanian authorities earlier this month. Shares in Petra plummeted 6.6% to 78.4p.

A strong performance in Asia this morning was supportive to the FTSE 100, which was trading 0.4% higher at 7,247 around midday.

Among the blue-chip winners were oil giant BP (BP.) and Vodafone (VOD), up 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively.

Brent crude oil ticked 0.3% lower to $55.47 per barrel. Gold was unmoved at $1,320 per ounce and copper climbed 1% to $6,525 per tonne.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Dairy foods firm Dairy Crest (DCG) gained 1.4% to 618p despite cheese sales and volumes rising in the six months to September 2017. The company also benefitted from its Cathedral Cheddar brand, which is expected to experience double-digit volume growth.

Insurance group Hiscox (HSX) dipped 2.2% to £12.24 on a $150m estimated impact from Hurricane Harvey, although it said 'reinsurance protection for the group remain substantially intact.'

Online property site Rightmove (RMV) revealed that London house prices recorded their biggest annual fall so far this decade.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in support services group Interserve (IRV) surged 18.6% to 96.6p following the appointment of Mark Whiteling as chief financial officer.

Oil explorer Jersey Oil & Gas (JOG) soared 29.5% to 86.1p on news that there may still be hydrocarbon potential at its Verbier well, which will be targeted by a follow up side-track exploration well. The company suffered a share price drop earlier this month on disappointing results from the well.

Computer products developer Concurrent Technologies (CNC) disappointed the market after turnover and profits fell in the first half of the year. Turnover of £7.8m was down from £9m and gross profits fell to £4.3m from £4.9m. Shares in the company fell 3.6% to 74p. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: PDL

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