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04 Jul 2019 | 16:43

FTSE closes flat with US markets closed

The FTSE 100 closed virtually flat at 7,603.58 following a lacklustre day of trading in what could be a sign of how European markets are led by their American counterparts, as US stock markets were closed due to Independence Day.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Bookmaker William Hill has edged 0.5% higher to 165p despite stating that it plans to close 700 stores, which would put 4,500 jobs at risk. It said the move was down to the government's decision in April to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2.

Associated British Foods added 0.75% to £24.62 as it saw sales rise 4% and said it expected "good" growth from Primark even as the retailer's like-for-like sales were held back by "unseasonable" weather in May.

Oil and gas producer Energean surged 12.4% to 945p after it entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire Edison E&P from Edison for $750m, and detailed plans to raise up to £211m through the placing of shares to support the acquisition.

Private equity and infrastructure investor 3i Group edged 0.4% higher to £11.63 after it said it remained on track to meet its dividend target as its portfolio continued to perform in line with expectations in the first quarter thanks to a boost from acquisitions.

Housebuilder Persimmon fell 1.1% to £19.66 after it reported a 5.6% decrease in housing revenues in the first half of 2019 and a slight decline in total forward sales as it focused on its "top priority" of delivering improved customer service.

Low-cost housebuilder and strategic land specialist MJ Gleeson climbed 8.4% to 800p after it said it was "confident" its full-year results would be "comfortably in line with expectations" amid a strong first half, adding that it remained "comfortably on track" to meet its target of doubling new home volumes to 2,000 per year by 2022.

Wealth management company Quilter rose 1% to 147p after it confirmed it was undertaking a strategic review of its heritage life insurance business Old Mutual Wealth Life Assurance, including its possible sale. Great Portland Estates nudged 0.3% higher to 702p as it said "positive activity" had continued in the first quarter of the year amid "healthy" leasing activity and "excellent" progress at its three committed development schemes.

International Public Partnerships, the listed infrastructure investment company, climbed 1.3% to 151p as it said it had taken full ownership of BeNEX after acquiring the remaining 51% stake from Hamburger Hochbahn.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Superdry fell 1.6% to 434p after it said it had appointed two new non-executive directors to its board, but said it was continuing to search for a further two.

Game edged 0.2% higher to 30p as it urged shareholders to accept a £52m takeover from Sports Direct.

D4t4 Solutions gained 0.4% to 260p after it announced that outgoing Chief Financial Officer Carmel Warren had stepped down from the board.

AB Dynamics remained flat at £25.60 as it said it had appointed Sarah Matthews-DeMers as Chief Financial Officer.

Internet domain names provider CentralNic Group fell 2.4% to 61p even as it said it had settled its €50m senior secured bond issue, and added that its recent acquisitions were expected to be completed at the end of the month.

DekelOil fell 6.1% to 2.9p despite announcing its "best ever" first-half crude palm oil production and sales jump following record second-quarter output.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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