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FTSE struggles as big cigarette stocks struggle

28 September 2017 16:58

The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,322 as weakness in cigarette sellers Imperial Brands (IMB) and British American Tobacco (BATS) threatened to drag the blue-chip index into the red.

Imperial Brands struggled following a warning of 'particularly challenging industry environment', which detracted from in line full year guidance.

British American Tobacco declined 0.7% to £46.71 on a negative read-across from investors.

Brent crude oil slid 0.5% to $57.60 per barrel. Copper gained 1% to $2.94 per pound and gold was unmoved at $1,284 per ounce.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

US stocks slipped as investors reacted with some scepticism to US President Donald Trump's proposed potential business tax cuts.

The Nasdaq dropped 0.2% to 6,438.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Petra Diamonds (PDL) sparkled 12.3% to 80p after receiving authorisation form the Tanzanian government to resume diamond exports and sales from the Williamson mine.

Transport hub food operator SSP (SSPG) drew in investors thanks to an upbeat fourth quarter trading update. Like-for-like sales growth was up 3%, driven by higher passenger numbers. The stock was up 5.6% at 529p.

Plastics packaging firm RPC Group (RPC) reported organic growth and the integration of recent acquisitions will boost half year profits beyond expectations, pushing the shares 2% higher to 955.3p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Struggling logistics business DX (DX.) won a major new contract with IKEA, triggering a share price rally of 21.6% to 8.9p. The company had a difficult year following a recent warning that an accounting error that would slash £1.8m off its full-year profits.

Shares in tech commercialisation firm Allied Minds (ALM) were down 7.1% to 130p despite its SciFluor subsidiary announcing positive trial results for its eye drop treatment for diabetic macular edema.

Trading platform CMC Markets (CMCX) rose 3.1% to 159p on the good news that profitability in the first half of 2018 was significantly higher due to increased client volumes.

Decent half year results and a new contract bode well for graphene play Directa Plus (DCTA), which jumped 9.1% to 58p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: BATS

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