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Market Wrap - Midday

Strong miners fail to propel FTSE higher

03 October 2017 11:53

The FTSE was flat at 7,447 despite gains in miners and financial stocks.

Anglo American (AAL) performed well, up 2.4% to £13.96, followed by Rio Tinto (RIO) and Glencore (GLEN), which rose 1% and 0.7%, respectively.

Shares in Standard Chartered (STAN) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) advanced 1% to 762.9p and 0.8% to 270.2p.

Business activity in the UK construction sector fell for the first time in 13 months, according to Markit's latest Purchasing Managers' Index. This was blamed on a sustained drop in new work.

Brent crude oil dipped 0.3% to $56 per barrel. Gold nudged 0.2% lower to $1,270 per ounce and copper was stable at $2.94 per pound.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

On Wall Street, the stock markets hit new highs thanks to strong corporate earnings and optimism over President Donald Trump's planned tax reform.

The Dow Jones rose 0.7% to 22,557 overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rallied 1% to 20,614 this morning, driven by the weaker yen that had a positive impact for exporters.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

News that a Japanese agency is considering breaking ties with advertising giant WPP (WPP) weighed on the company's performance as the stock retreated 1.9% to £13.67.

Hungarian airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) was flat at £30.30 despite boosting its passenger numbers by 26.4% and increasing its load factory to 92.9% in September.

Low-cost airline Ryanair (RYA) also received a subdued response to strong traffic statistics as its customer numbers rose 10% and load factor ticked higher to 97%. This was surprising news given the recent mass cancellations due to issues scheduling pilots' holidays, but the shares were unmoved at €17.

Soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) declined 2% to £25.05 after it announced that chief executive Dimitris Lois died during medical leave last month. The company said Michalis Imellos would continue in the role of acting CEO.

Sausage rolls seller Greggs (GRG) fattened 1% to £12.63 thanks to an 8.6% jump in total sales in the third quarter of the year.

Electrocomponents (ECM) continued to perform well this year thanks to faster sales growth and market share gains across all of its regions. Shares in the electronic components business were lifted 2.4% to 654p after the company upgraded half year pre-tax profit to approximately £78m.

Heating and plumbing products distributor Ferguson (FERG) impressed the market with an increase in annual pre-tax profit to £1.18bn, up from £675m. Shares in the firm rose 4.5% to £50.83.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in bar operator Revolution Bars (RBG) shed 0.6% to 210.2p on a fall in full-year profit amid falling sales growth and rising costs. Sales growth in the first quarter of the current financial year continued to deteriorate.

Deltic Group said it was still considering whether to make a cash offer for Revolution Bars to rival Stonegate's offer of 203p per share.

Furniture retailer SCS Group (SCS) revealed a rise in annual net profit, driven by increased sales density at its furniture and flooring stores, helping the shares rise 7.9% to 172p.

Advanced testing systems supplier AB Dynamics (ABDP) announced sales and profits for the year to August 2017 would beat analysts' forecasts, helping the shares gain 4.4% to 603.2p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: WPP

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