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Resurgent pound takes bite out of FTSE gains

Friday, 3rd May 2019
The FTSE 100 closed up 0.4% on Friday at 7,380.64 but pared earlier more impressive gains on strength in sterling. This followed a strong showing for the main remain-orientated party, the Liberal Democrats, in local elections.

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% by 4.30pm UK time as the latest US jobs report come in ahead of expectation. The bullish mood was helped by the news legendary investor Warren Buffett had invested in Amazon.

In the UK Lloyds Banking dipped 0.3% to 62.6p after reports it had headed off a shareholder rebellion over executive pay.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

HSBC gained 1.8% after a strong performance at its Asian division and tighter cost control helped it post a 31% rise in annual pre-tax profit.

InterContinental Hotels dropped 1% after it posted only a slight uptick in first-quarter revenue-per-room growth, amid weakness in the Middle East and South Korea.

Shopping centre operator Intu Properties sank 5% as it warned on profits, blaming a higher-than-expected level of insolvencies and a slowdown in new lettings amid Brexit uncertainty.

Packaging company Smurfit Kappa ticked 0.3% higher as its earnings grew 25% in the first quarter, underpinned by both higher demand and pricing.

AstraZeneca 0.9% after its oral treatment for type-2 diabetes received US regulator approval.

Subprime lender Provident Financial, which is trying to ward off a hostile takeover bid from Non-Standard Financial, said it had grown its customer numbers in the first quarter. Its shares rose 1.4%.

Defence firm Ultra Electronics rose 5.1% as it continued to see 'positive developments' in its order book so far this year, and continued to trade in line with its expectations.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Retail stockbroker Share, whose main operation is The Share Centre, surged 16.4% on news of a takeover offer from rival Interactive Investor.

Financial services group Numis was flat, recovering from earlier losses, on posting a 64% slump in first-half profit, pinned on market volatility.

S4 Capital firmed 5.6% on the back of a 37% rise in first-quarter profit, as the advertising company led by former WPP boss Martin Sorrell continued to add clients.

Australian online retailer MySale dipped 2.4% after it agreed to sell UK-focused website cocosa.co.uk to Brandalley UK for £1.5m.

Mining junior Rambler Metals and Mining jumped 28.6% on announcing that it produced 6% more gold and copper in 2018, owing to record output at its Ming mine in Canada.


Story provided by StockMarketWire.com


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