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UK stocks hold steady as US banks disappoint

Friday, 13th April 2018
The FTSE 100 ended up a handful of points on Friday at 7,264.56. The advance comes despite gains for sterling against other major currencies, typically a negative for an index with a lot of overseas earnings, and weak trading on Wall Street.

Around 4pm UK time the US S&P 500 was down 0.2% at 2,658.23. The index erased early gains after a negative reaction to first quarter numbers from the big banks reporting today with JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all seeing their shares trade materially lower.


Rolls-Royce (RR.) dropped 1.8% to 865.6p after it warned it would have to conduct additional inspections of commercial aircraft engines with reliability problems. The company said it would cover the extra cost by cutting back on 'various items of discretionary spend' and kept is cash-flow guidance intact.

London Stock Exchange (LSE), meanwhile, said it had appointed Goldman Sachs investment banker David Schwimmer as its new chief executive, effective 1 August. His appointment came after the sudden departure in November of Xavier Rolet. Shares in the bourse operator gained 0.6% to £42.65.

Software company Sage Group (SGE) tumbled 8.5% to 615p as it downgraded its annual guidance owing to slowing revenue growth blamed on 'inconsistent operational execution'.

Shares of property developer Hammerson (HMSO) shed 9.3% to 471.7p after European shopping centre landlord Klepierre pulled its takeover bid for the company after its advances were rejected.


Electronics control systems developer XP Power (XPP) raised its first-quarter dividend after its order intake rose 9% on-year, while revenue jumped 18%. Its shares added 2.6% to £36.10.

Azerbaijan-focused oil and gas company Zenith Energy (ZEN) said it had terminated an exclusivity agreement for the acquisition of assets in a central Asian country because it didn't receive adequate financial information from the vendor. Its shares fell 5.6% to 6.38p.

Palm oil producer DekelOil (DKL) slumped 14.3% to 8.4p as its first-quarter output slipped on a lower harvest.

Oil and gas company Echo Energy (ECHO) jumped 12.1% to 15.3p after it announced that natural gas had flowed to the surface at a well in Argentina.

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