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Market Wrap - Midday

North Korea and US tensions drag on FTSE

26 September 2017 11:38

Tensions between North Korea and the US continued to weigh on the markets as the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,302.

In the latest development, North Korea accused Washington of declaring war and said it had the right to shoot down US bombers, which unnerved investors.

Brent crude oil declined 0.7% to $58.60 per barrel. Gold dipped 0.2% to $1,303 per ounce and copper was up 0.4% to $2.93 per pound.


In the US, tech stocks recorded heavy losses as the Nasdaq traded 0.9% lower at 6,370 overnight.

Weakness in tech stocks was also evident in Asia with Japan's Nikkei 225 taking a 0.3% hit to 20,330 this morning.


News that publishing house Informa (INF) will acquire Dove Medical Press failed to move the share price at 666p.

Greetings cards seller Card Factory (CARD) dropped 15% to 302.1p after revealing a 13.9% fall in first-half operating profit to £24.6m due to currency movements, the national living wage and investments.

Investors were also disappointed in insurer AA's (AA.) latest half year results, down 2.3% to 164.7p. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin nudged lower to 41% and brokers downgraded expectations.

Shares in Thomas Cook (TCG) drifted 1% lower to 119.8p after it left full year underlying earnings before interest and tax outlook unchanged. Winter booked sales rose 6%, driven by growing demand from travellers for Turkey and North Africa.

Irn-Bru manufacturer AG Barr (BAG) hiked its interim dividend by 5% to 3.7p and reported an 8.8% sales increase to £136.6m in the six months to 31 July. Despite the decent results, the stock was flat at 617p.

Investors expected more from merchant bank Close Brother (CBG), which fell 5.3% to £14.41 despite adjusted operating profit rising 13% to £264.8m in the year to 31 July.


Magazine publisher Time Out (TMO) booked an interim operating loss of £15.6m thanks to further investment in its digital offering. The market overlooked a 13% jump in sales to £18.7m as shares in Time Out were unmoved at 140.1p.

Successful flow tests and first production gas at Logbaba well La-10 bode well for Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG). The gas utility firm surged 9.3% to 69.2p on the news. Story provided by

Related Company: INF

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