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Market Wrap - Midday

FTSE gains support from miners and utility stocks

29 September 2017 11:58

The FTSE 100 continued to rally thanks to stronger mining and utility stocks. Antofagasta (ANTO) and Anglo American (AAL) remained the top dogs among the miners, up 1.7% and 2.1%, respectively.

Utility companies United Utilities (UU.) and SSE (SSE) rose 1.5% to 858p and 0.9% to £13.99.

Around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.7% to 7,373.

The UK economy grew by 0.3% in the second quarter of 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics. The services sector was the only division to provide a positive contribution.

House prices fell for the first time in eight years, according to Nationwide's house price index. According to the bank, house prices in London were down 0.6% year-on-year.

Brent crude oil ticked 0.3% higher to $57.57 per barrel. Copper was unmoved at $2.96 per pound and gold glittered at $1,288 per ounce.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

The S&P 500 yesterday closed at a record high of 2,510 thanks to gains in health care stocks and continued strong sentiment for US President Donald Trump's tax reform plans.

In Asia, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and SSE Composite in China closed in the black this morning except for Japan's Nikkei 225, which was flat at 20,356.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Broadcaster ITV (ITV) jumped 2.7% to 173.3p on a bullish broker research note.

Insurer Beazley (BEZ) reported an early estimate of $175m to $275m in net costs from the recent raft of Atlantic hurricanes and series of earthquakes in Mexico. The company estimated the losses would reduce 2017 earnings by approximately $150m. Its share price was up 3.3% at 475p.

Life insurer Aviva (AV.) agreed to sell its Italian joint venture Avipop Assicurazioni to Banco BPM for €265m, helping the shares tick 1.4% up to 516.6p.

Fund administration services provider Sanne (SNN) acquired Luxembourg Investment Solutions in a bid to strengthen its position in Luxembourg. The stock gained 6.1% to 806.5p.

Equiniti (EQN) was down 2.6% to 289p following the commencement of dealings in nil paid rights associated with its planned acquisition of a US business.

A strong trading update from defence tech company QinetiQ (QQ.) boosted the share price by 6.9% to 249.5p. Investors were particularly impressed by the performance in its Global Products division which is expected to grow in 2018 thanks to contracted orders and a strong pipeline.

Infrastructure developer John Laing (JLG) said it would invest more money in renewable energy assets including a wind farm project. Its share price held firm at 285.1p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in struggling Carillion (CLLN) dropped 11% to 57p on yet another profit warning. It said full year results would be below current market expectations. At the half year stage underlying pre-tax profit plummeted 40% due to the phasing of equity disposals and underwhelming trading of contracts.

Online estate agent Purplebricks (PURP) said strong progress was made across the business since the start of the financial year on 1 May 2017. Shares were stable at 373p after the company said first half revenues in the UK were likely to more than double compared to the same period last year.

Restaurant operator Richoux (RIC) plummeted 10.7% to 13.4p as turnover fell 20.2% to £5.65m in the 28 week period to 9 July 2017. It experienced some trading growth in its rebranded restaurants but there was no consistent improvement in trading conditions since April.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: ITV

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