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08 Aug 2019 | 09:32

UK stocks gain, but ex-dividends limit rise

UK stocks are edging higher on Thursday morning, supported by global advances, but ex-dividend stocks are keeping gains in check.

At 08:58, the benchmark FTSE 100 was 0.11%, or 8.22 points, higher at 7,206.92.

Derwent edged 0.07% lower to 2,888p even as it reported an uptick in profits on the back of higher net rental income and an increase in the value of its property portfolio in the first half of the year.

Bellway lost 2.74% to 2,803p after it said annual pre-tax profits were expected to be in line with market expectations thanks to a pickup in housing demand during the spring selling season, though margins continued to moderate toward a more normalised level.

Coca-Cola HBC, a bottler of The Coca-Cola company, slipped 1.55% to 2,786p after it reported a fall in profits, blaming unseasonably wet and cold weather conditions in the second quarter.

Hargreaves Lansdown jumped 6.16% to 1,945.85p after it reported a rise in annual profits as assets grew 8% amid strong second-half performance.

Equipment and solutions provider to the broadcast, photographic and entertainment markets the Vitec Group declined 1.75% to 1,095.50p as it reported a 2.2% drop in half-year revenue amid photographic headwinds and the impact of US/China tariffs.

Property company Savills fell 1.74% to 931p after it posted a 9% drop in pre-tax underlying profit as political and economic uncertainty, especially in the UK and Hong Kong, weighed on investor sentiment and reduced real estate activity volumes.

Evraz added 1.17% to 607p even as it reported a fall in half-yearly earnings as lower vanadium, coal and steel product prices weighed on performance.

Aviva grew 1.13% to 386.30p after it reported a slight increase in profits as weakness in its life and fund management division kept a lid on growth. The insurer confirmed that it may look to offload its Asian insurance business.

Cineworld lost 1.75% to 241.70p after it reported a fall in profits on lower revenues in the first half of the year, blaming the timing of major film releases in the year.

Insurer Hastings Group dropped 5.81% to 179.90p after it reported a slump in profits as an uptick in premiums was offset by an increase in the number of claims in the first half of the year.

Berlin-specialised UK investment company Phoenix Spree Deutschland climbed 3.83% to 298p after it reported a 3.7% increase in the value of its portfolio in the six months ending 30 June 2019, but cautioned about the potential future impact of Berlin State rent controls.

Global manufacturer of automotive fluid storage and delivery systems TI Fluid Systems slumped 9.55% to 178p as it reported a 3.3% drop in first-half revenue and a 4.1% fall in earnings amid a 'challenging' global automotive market.

Real estate investment trust Tritax Big Box REIT lost 0.54% to 146p after it posted a 5.7% increase in first-half operating profit as it upped its interim dividend by 2.2%.

Real estate asset investor Tritax EuroBox edged 0.03% lower to 93.17p after it said it would pay an interim dividend of 1 cent per ordinary share for the half-year period from 1 April to 30 June 2019.

Real Estate Credit Investments grew 0.30% to 168p after it said it would pay a first interim dividend of 3p per ordinary share (totalling £5,976,109) for the year ending 31 March 2020.

ContourGlobal added 1.46% to 166.40p despite downgrading its outlook on earnings for the full-year, blaming the later-than-expected close of the CHP acquisition.

Lending group Funding Circle increased 0.94% to 99.93p even as it reported wider half-yearly losses as economic uncertainty kept a lid on loan growth.

Resource development company Savannah Resources rose 6.10% to 4.0850p after it said that Oman's Public Authority for Mining intended to grant mining licences for two of the firm's high-grade copper mine developments.

ClearStar jumped 10.96% to 59.92p after it said it had achieved a key milestone in its medical information services business with monthly sales exceeding $1m for the first time as the company accelerated growth.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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