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28 May 2019 | 12:12

FTSE falters as banks, pharmaceutical stocks struggle

The FTSE 100 gave up earlier gains to trade flat by midday with a decent showing for mining stocks offset by weakness in the banking and pharmaceutical sectors.

Amid losses in other European markets, US futures are also pointing to a lower open for the main US indices on Wall Street later.

Figures from UK finance showed mortgage approvals for house purchases hit their highest level since February 2017 in April.


Construction company Galliford Try rose 3.5% after revealing that it had rejected a £950m offer for its home building business from Bovis Homes. Bovis shares were flat.

Sports Direct added 2.7% on confirming that it had agreed to sell a logistics centre in Shirebrook to Kwasa Logix Sportivo for £120.1m and lease it back.

NMC Healthcare rallied 4% as it sealed a planned joint venture in Saudi Arabia and upgraded its annual revenue and earnings guidance as a result.

Outsourcing group Bunzl added 0.1% on news that it had appointed current Galliford Try chairman Peter Ventress as its new chairman-elect.

Guarantor loans provider Amigo gained 5.4% after it booked a large rise in annual profits underpinned by growth in its loan book.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial gained 0.1% as it confirmed that investor M&G, which held a 1.7% stake in the company, had decided not to accept Non-Standard Finance's hostile takeover bid.

Non-Standard Finance shares rose 0.7%.


Marketing group Albert Technologies slumped 38% as it warned that its revenues were unlikely to meet expectations following a slower-than-anticipated start to the year.

Industrial product supplier Renold jumped 9.5% after it booked a rise in annual profit, driven by strength in its chains division.

One Media iP fell 5.5% on news that it had acquired the writer's share of a number of songs written by US country singer Cole Taylor for $260,000.

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