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11 Nov 2019 | 12:07

UK stocks accelerate to the downside at midday

UK stocks saw accelerated losses on Monday after a weak start in reaction to a violent escalation of political tensions in Hong Kong sent Asian exchanges lower. Adding pressure to stocks was weaker than expected UK third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which came in at 0.3% versus 0.4% estimated by economists.

At 1204, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 82.79 points, or 1.1%, at 7.276.52.

BHP fell 2.7% to £16.80 after the mining titan unveiled ambitious growth targets for its oil and gas division, recently marred by an ill-timed move into US shale.

Baked goods retailer Greggs rallied 14.3% to £20.24 as it yet again upgraded its profit outlook, following stronger-than-expected sales buoyed by increased customer visits.

Online property group Rightmove edged back 0.7% to 587.2p on announcing that finance director Robyn Perriss was standing down, likely by the second quarter of 2020.

Events and publishing group Informa was up 0.5% to 803.8.4p, having grown its revenue by a disappointing 2.8% in the 10 months through October.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca advanced 0.2% to £72.87, as it posted positive trial results for a drug used to treat anemia in patients suffering chronic kidney disease.

Beaten-down fertilizer developer Sirius Minerals rallied 6.5% to 3.4p, on announcing that it had put together a new, two-stage development plan for its flagship project in Yorkshire, having encountered funding difficulties for its original plan.

Sirius Mineral said it was in funding talks for a smaller, initial phase to generate first production costing $600m to complete, to be followed a deferred $2.5bn second phase.

Funeral company Dignity shed 0.95% to 532.5p as it reported a fall in year-to-date profit, owing to a lower number of deaths.

Engineering and agricultural equipment group Carr's gained 4.8% to 149.91p as it reported a 9% rise in annual adjusted profit, modestly above its expectations, despite bad weather hurting its agriculture division.

Mereo BioPharma sank 28% to 36.9p after revealing that a clinical trial for its treatment for bone disorder osteogenesis imperfecta failed to achieve its primary goal of increasing bone density in the wrist.

The company, however, said the study achieved its 'secondary' endpoint of an increase in areal bone mineral density at the lumbar spine.

Regenerative medical devices company Tissue Regenix slumped 36.6% to 1.3p on revealing that it was in talks with debt provider MidCap Financial Trust after assessing that it would likely breach a revenue-related loan term.

Online education services group Wey Education rose 6.7% to 10.77p, despite booking a full-year loss, as rising revenue was offset by one-off business termination and restructuring charges.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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