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02 May 2019 | 12:05

FTSE 100 flat as BoE keeps rates on hold

By midday the FTSE 100 was virtually unchanged at 7,385.04 as the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.75%.

US futures pointed to a rebound on Wall Street later. Yesterday US Federal Reserve commentary suggesting clamour for a rate cut would be resisted led to losses.


Oil major Royal Dutch Shell added 2.5% even as it posted a 2% decline in first-quarter profit as strong contributions from trading and higher LNG and gas prices were unable to completely offset the impact of lower realised oil prices and tax credits. The showing was better than expected.

Medical devices firm Smith & Nephew gained 2.9% as it guided for revenue growth at the higher end of guidance for 2019.

Gambling outfit Paddy Power Betfair slumped 4.9% despite noting that its full-year profit outlook remained in line with expectations as 'excellent' growth in Australia and the US drove a 17% year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenue.

Banking firm Lloyds fell 0.7% as it reported flat first-quarter profits that fell short of market expectations amid exceptional costs including charges relating to payment protection insurance and an estimated charge for pulling the Standard Life Aberdeen investment mandate.

Consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser lost 0.5% after it posted a 1% increase in like-for-like sales in the first quarter, but said the slow start had been expected and left its full-year revenue target unchanged.

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce gained 1.6% as it said trading to date was in line with expectations and that it remained on track to meet its full-year targets.

Kitchen seller Howden Joinery added 1.6% after it posted a 5.7% rise in revenues for first 16 weeks of the year as the company hiked up prices in January, against the backdrop of strong volume comparators last year.

Share registrar Equiniti added 1.2% as it said it had started the year 'well' and was confident of meeting full-year expectations after winning a string of new mandates.

Property and casualty insurer Lancashire Holdings dropped 1.8% as it posted a modest uptick in premiums in the first quarter amid a relatively 'benign' claims environment.

Challenger bank Metro Bank sinks 13.8% as costs, revenue and deposits all decline in a set of first quarter numbers which fall well short of expectations.


Electrical equipment firm Zytronic fell 22% after flagging a decline in first half profit and revenue thanks to weakening demand from the gaming sector.

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