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29 Apr 2019 | 12:10

FTSE's progress stalls as markets await Google-parent Alphabet's earnings

The FTSE 100 surrendered earlier gains to trade 0.1% lower at 7,420.71 ahead of a busy week in terms of corporate and macro-economic news.

In the US futures markets pointed to a positive start with the parent of technology giant Google, Alphabet, scheduled to report first quarter earnings.

Online groceries firm Ocado dipped 4.8% after confirming an electrical fault in a battery caused a robot to catch fire leading to a large blaze at its Andover distribution site in February.


Miner and commodities trader Ferrexpo jumped 6.8% after it hit back against claims by its former auditor Deloitte that it had delayed an independent review into its charitable donations.

The company also said it had continuing to trade 'strongly'.

Steel producer Evraz slipped 1.5% even as it reported a 12% rise in first-quarter output, led by higher pig iron production.

Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca advanced 1.1% after European regulators offered a positive opinion on a treatment for ovarian cancer.

Car listings site Auto Trader fell 1% on revealing that chief executive Trevor Mather would retire at the end of March next year, to be replaced by current chief financial officer Nathan Coe.


Consumer goods supplier UP Global Sourcing, also known as Ultimate Products, rallied 9.7%, as it posted a 48% rise in first-half profit owing to higher sales and steady margins.

Self-storage group Lok'nStore firmed 1% after its first-half profit rose by a fifth and it hiked its dividend.

Safety company investor Marlowe added 3.9% on announcing that it expected its adjusted operating earnings for the full to be 'slightly ahead' of market expectations.

Obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes treatment developer OptiBiotix Health shed 2.8% after it swung to a full-year loss, as spending offset rising sales and it benefited from an asset sale in the previous year.

Specialist services and engineering company TP Group gained 2.3% on news that it had won a £16.9m contract from a 'leading US defence company' to provide advanced packaged equipment.

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