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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE gains supported by BP, Shell and sterling retreat

19 September 2017 11:52

Oil giants BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) boosted the FTSE 100 thanks to stable oil prices.

Brent crude oil advanced 0.6% to $55.84 per barrel. Gold and copper were stable at $1,305 per ounce and $6,503 per tonne.

BP advanced 1.1% to 455.9p and Shell ticked 0.8% to £21.73. This, along with a pullback in the pound, helped the blue-chip index trade 0.3% up at 7,276.

Utility stocks Centrica (CNA) and SSE (SSE) also contributed as they rose 1.1% to 189.4p and 0.5% to £14.14 respectively.


Wall Street was in positive territory overnight as investor sentiment was upbeat ahead of the Fed's policy announcement later today. The Dow Jones closed 0.3% higher at 22,331.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained momentum thanks to the strong performance in the US and the weaker yen. It bucked the trend elsewhere in Asia and rallied nearly 2% to 20,299 this morning.


Nurofen seller Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) announced chairman Adrian Bellamy will leave the consumer goods giant in 2018 and will be replaced by former Mattel boss Christopher Sinclair. Shares in the firm were broadly unmoved at £68.30 on the news.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said the US Food and Drug Administration approved an inhaler called Trelegy Ellipta for the long-term treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The stock dipped 0.2% to £14.53.


Rising costs and a lower average basket size took the shine off online supermarket Ocado (OCDO). Investors overlooked 13.1% revenue growth in the 13 weeks to 27 August, prompting the stock to drop 2% to 295.7p.

Miner Petra Diamonds (PDL) continued to struggle on the stock market after experiencing labour disruption at its Finsch mine and Kimberly Ekapa Mining joint venture operations. Shares in Petra slumped a further 5.3% to 75p following the cancelled dividend and debt warning on Monday.


Equipment rental provider Speedy Hire (SDY) accelerated 2.4% to 52.5p thanks to revenue growth of 7.5% in its latest trading update.

Fashion retailer French Connection (FCCN) was down 1.8% to 43.7p on a 4.1% decline in sales at constant currency in the six months to 31 July.

Elsewhere, Domino's Pizza franchisee DP Eurasia (DPEU) was flat at 181.7p despite group system sales climbing 29% in the first half of the year.

Filtration specialist Porvair (PRV) continued to make good progress and hit 8% sales growth in the nine months to 31 August 2017, triggering a 4.6% rise to 476p.

On AIM, video game service provider Keywords Studio (KWS) fell 4.2% on profit taking following strong results. Adjusted pre-tax profit jumped 60% to €9.6m in the first half of 2017.

Net profit plummeted at energy services firm Gulf Marine Services (GMS), prompting the shares to drift 3.3% to 44.3p. Profit dropped from $27.8m to $0.7m in the six months to 30 June and the company decided not to pay out a dividend. Story provided by

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