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01 May 2019 | 16:36

FTSE 100 losses mount on sterling strength, resource weakness

By the close the FTSE 100 was hovering around a one-month low as hopes for a Brexit compromise fired up sterling and amid weakness in the resource sector. The index of leading UK shares was down 0.4% at 7,385.26.

In the US the S&P 500 was up 0.14% at 2,949.83 as investors awaited the US Federal Reserve's latest decision on interest rates and as Apple rallied on better than expected numbers.


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 gained 1% after 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 1.9% on news that it lowered its capital ratio target after UK regulators eased its capital buffer requirements.

London Stock Exchange gained 2.9% as it reported a 5% improvement in first-quarter income despite a 'challenging market backdrop.'

Sirius Minerals fell another 3.5% 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 0.5% 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 0.2%.

Gas mask and dairy equipment manufacturer Avon Rubber fell 2.3% as it reported a big drop in first half profit linked to the US government shutdown.


Waste management business Augean jumped 15.5% on announcing that it expected its annual profit to be materially ahead of market expectations, following stronger trading performance in the first quarter.

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