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26 Mar 2019 | 12:04

FTSE holds on to gains despite sterling strength

Despite gains for the pound, as MPs apparent capture of some measure of control of Brexit is seen as reducing the chance of a no deal outcome, the FTSE 100 was still modestly higher by Tuesday lunchtime.

The 0.2% advance to 7,193.47 was supported by health care firms, miners and housebuilders. Across the pond, US futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street as bond markets stabilized.


Online grocery company Ocado gained 4% to £13.05 after it revealed a new partnership deal for its delivery technology platform, this time with Australian grocery chain Coles.

Water infrastructure group United Utilities gained 0.6% on announcing that it expected to report a rise in annual revenue and underlying profit.

Premium carbonated drinks supplier Fevertree gained 2.7% to £26.11 a 36% rise in annual profit, as its margins were pressured by investment in its US expansion.

Drinks maker A.G. Barr ticked up 0.1% to 778p despite rising costs contributing to a small fall in its annual profit.

Plumbing group Ferguson plunged 10.3% to £46.39 on warning that it expected profits toward the lower end of market expectations, as growth moderated in the second half.

House builder Crest Nicholson jumped 7.4% after it revealed that it had poached Galliford Try head Peter Truscott as its new chief executive. Galiford Try shares fell 3.0%.


Michelmersh Brick Holdings gained 2.3% as it almost doubled its annual profit amid a strong housing construction market.

Mens' suit retailer Moss Bros dropped 5.9% to 22.5p as it sunk into the red and scrapped its final dividend, blaming weak demand, rising costs, asset writedowns and intense competition.

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