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01 Nov 2018 | 12:05

FTSE falls behind after sterling surge

Strength in the pound on reports of a Brexit deal for the UK financial services sector as well as pressure on commodities meant the FTSE 100 lagged a strong showing elsewhere in Europe. Though by midday the index was up 0.17% to 7,140.18.


Oil major Royal Dutch Shell fell 2.7% to £24.95 after it reported a 37% increase in third-quarter profit to $5.6bn, short of consensus forecasts for $5.8bn though up from $4.1bn a year earlier, and as it launched the second tranche of its share buyback programme.

But British takeaway ordering website Just Eat climbed jumped 5.4% after saying on Thursday it expected full-year revenue near the top end of guidance, but earnings near the lower end after reporting a jump in third-quarter revenue amid stronger performance in September.

And BT Group surged 10.3% as it said Thursday that full-year earnings were expected toward the upper range of guidance after profits jumped by nearly a quarter in the first half of the year, driven by growth in its consumer division.

Global medical technology business Smith & Nephew also rose, adding 6.3% to £13.54 after reporting a 3% increase in third-quarter underlying revenue and reconfirming its full-year guidance.

Insurer Admiral ticked up 0.6% to £20.24 after revealing that it expected to report an impairment charge from following an investment in the company at a discount. However, it stressed that full-year performance would meet guidance.

Resources giant BHP Billiton rose 2.7% to £16.04 after announcing it would return $10.4bn to its shareholders through the combination of an off-market $5.2bn buyback programme and a further $5.2bn in the form of a special dividend.

Chemical company Croda edged 0.5% higher to £48.43 as it reaffirmed full-year guidance Thursday after reporting that its sales grew 3.4% in the third quarter, driven by a strong performance in the group's consumer businesses.


Marketing products business 4imprint gained 16% to £21 as it guided for revenue and profit to be towards the top end of current market forecasts.

North-America focused oil and gas company Rose Petroleum dipped 4.6% to 2.91p after it said it had received the final permit needed for it to start drilling the GV 22-1 well at Paradox acreage in Utah. At 12:05pm:

(LON:BLT) BHP Billiton PLC share price was +40.8p at 1603.2p

(LON:BT.A) BT Group PLC share price was +24.6p at 265.15p

(LON:JE.) Just Eat share price was +32.2p at 639.8p

(LON:RDSB) Royal Dutch Shell share price was -75p at 2490p

(LON:SN.) Smith Nephew PLC share price was +78.75p at 1352.25p

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