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19 Feb 2019 | 12:04

Weak corporate results and sterling volatility dog FTSE

The FTSE 100 was down 0.6% to 7,172.69 by midday as index heavyweights disappointed with full year earnings and the pound remained volatile.

HBSC shed 4.1% to 636.6p as a 16% rise in annual profit missed market expectations and the bank warned that slowing growth in China and Brexit uncertainty could hurt its performance in the current year.

Mining giant BHP dipped 0.6% to £17.88 on reporting a fall in first-half profit, owing to lower copper prices and unplanned production outages.


Bakery chain Greggs was having a better morning, rising 7.1% to £17.15 as it upgraded its outlook on profit following an 'exceptionally strong start' to the year, driven by the launch of its vegan-friendly sausage roll.

InterContinental Hotels lost some earlier gains but still traded up 0.2% at £46.38 after it reported rising earnings boosted by higher occupancy numbers in China, easing the blow from subdued US performance.

Bus operator Firstgroup gained 2.4% to 93.7p as it reported 13.7% growth in winter revenue amid a strong performance for its student bus segment.

Aerospace group Cobham settled a dispute with aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing, helping to lift the UK group's share price 2.3% to 117.9p.


London-focused residential property developer Telford Homes added 1% to 343p after it exchanged contracts for the sale of a build-to-rent development site in Walthamstow.

Specialist manufacturer Synnovia slid 10.3% to 99.6p on warning that it expected rising annual revenue to be offset by losses from currency hedging, cost pressures and 'minor' delays at its films division.

Luxury furniture company Walker Greenbank slumped 9.9% to 77p after announcing that it only expected to eke out a modest increase in sales amid a challenging UK retail environment.

Insolvency litigation financing company Manolete Partners gained 8.3% to 295p as it said it expected to post annual results ahead of market expectations, with operating profit growth of 70%.

Patagonia Gold plunged 49% to 48p on news that it had ceased operations at two mines in Argentina due to lower-than-expected production volumes.

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