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Market News

01 May 2019 | 12:00

FTSE surrenders gains ahead of Fed meeting

The FTSE 100 gave up earlier gains to trade 0.18% lower by midday at 7,405.19 as investors await the US Federal Reserve decision on interest rates later.

The index was affected by a spike in the pound on reports of progress in cross-party talks aimed at achieving an orderly Brexit.

US futures are pointing to a higher open when trading resumes on Wall Street later after Apple beat expectations with its results overnight.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Sainsbury's added 3.8%, despite one-off costs including those associated with its failed Asda deal, dragging its annual profit down 42%.

The company also reported a better-than-expected rise in underlying profit and raised its final dividend by 11%.

Clothing retailer Next was flat despite posting a surprisingly good 4.5% rise in first-quarter sales, though the company said the rise wasn't big enough to prompt a change to its annual guidance.

Lloyds Banking added 1.1% on news that it lowered its capital ratio target after UK regulators eased its capital buffer requirements.

London Stock Exchange gained 1.9% as it reported a 5% improvement in first-quarter income despite a 'challenging market backdrop.'

Sirius Minerals fell another 7.3% after revealing that it had raised around $425m (£327m) from a share placement priced at 15p per share, at the bottom end of an indicative range of 15p to 18p.

Bingo hall and casino owner Rank Group fell 0.1% as it reported 1% growth in first-quarter venue and said that chairman Ian Burke would stand down after the company's annual general meeting in October.

Housebuilder Persimmon, meanwhile, said its weekly private sales rate per site had fallen 5% in the year to date, due to changes in its marketing practices. Its shares fell 1.9%.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Waste management business Augean jumped 11.4% on announcing that it expected its annual profit to be materially ahead of market expectations, following stronger trading performance in the first quarter.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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