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Market Wrap - Midday

Utility stocks and Shell weigh on FTSE

04 October 2017 11:41

The FTSE 100 was weighed down by weakness in utility stocks and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), causing the index to dip to 7,464.

Rumours that UK Prime Minister Theresa May would bring in an energy cap hit shares in British Gas owner Centrica (CNA) which topped the blue-chip fallers, down 5.4% to 180.8p.

The stock was followed by SSE (SSE), which declined 2.5% to £13.77.

One of the biggest stocks in terms of market cap, Shell, retreated 0.9% to £23.23 after it cancelled an asset sale in Thailand.

Brent crude oil ticked 0.4% lower to $55.75 per barrel. Gold glittered at $1,276 per ounce and copper was stable at $2.95 per pound.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Strong sales from US car makers and a rally in tech stocks helped the stock markets gain positive momentum. The Dow Jones jumped 0.4% to 22,641 overnight.

Asian equities chased the US higher, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng enjoying the biggest rally as it closed 0.7% higher at 28,379 this morning.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

UK supermarket Tesco (TSCO) fell 3.5% to 183.3p despite reporting a 3.3% jump in sales to £25.2bn and resuming dividend payments.

Property investment firm CLS Holdings (CLI) confirmed the renewal of leases on 14 properties with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Motif Bio's (MTFB) positive results for its Phase III trial REVIVE-2 investigating the effects of iclaprim for patients with serious skin infections triggered a 36% rally to 50p.

Various delays on projects and from certain clients of Redhall Group (RHL) meant its full year results would be 'materially below expectations' and wiped off nearly a fifth of the company's value. Shares in the business were flat at 204p.

Tiles retailer Topps Tiles (TPT) shed 3% to 72.5p after warning that it expects profits for the full year to hit the low end of market expectations due to challenging market conditions.

Shares in Total Film publisher Future (FUTR) headed in the other direction, up 13.2% to 360p, after the company said it expects its full year results to exceed expectations.

Credit provider International Personal Finance (IPF) warned that proposed changes to the Polish corporate income tax rate would push up its tax bill for activities in that country. The firm estimated that the changes would result in a one-off accounting charge of up to £30m in 2017, which concerned investors as the stock dropped 9.3% to 191.5p.

Science research business Avacta (AVCT) revealed losses from continuing operations rose to £6.37m, up from £4.65m last year.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: TSCO

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