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FTSE slightly firmer on trade, US earnings

Monday, 15th April 2019
The FTSE 100 recovered earlier lost ground to trade flat by midday as it shrugged off sterling strength to responded positively to encouraging news on US-China trade relations and a strong start to the US earnings season last week.

US futures are pointing to a modestly higher open ahead of numbers from Goldman and Citigroup after JP Morgan kicked things off with record first quarter revenue and profit.


Rio Tinto fell 1.2% as it announced that it had committed $302m to its Resolution copper project in Arizona, the company is due to announce production number later.

Temporary office space provider IWG jumped 23% after it agreed to sell its Japanese operations to TKP Corporation for £320m with a franchise agreement with the latter part of the deal.

Energean Oil and Gas rallied 10.4% on news that it had made a 'significant' gas discovery at its Karish North exploration well offshore Israel.

Acacia Mining reversed 3.2%, as its first-quarter gold production fell 13% on-year, mainly due to lower production at its North Mara and Buzwagi mines in Tanzania.

Recruitment company Robert Walters added 1.7% as it had boosted its first-quarter gross profit by 11%, following growth in both the UK and abroad.

Online trading platform IG gained 2.5% after it announced that chairman Andy Green would stand down in September. A search for a replacement was currently underway.

Greeting cards firm IG Design slipped 2.2% to 587p as it said it expected financial performance to be in line with market expectations and significantly up year on year.

Brewin Dolphin dipped 0.2% to 330p as it confirmed media speculation that it was in talks to acquire Investec's wealth management business in Ireland

Power control component supplier XP Power shed 1.1% as it grew its first-quarter revenue by less than 1%, though sales fell on a like-for-like and constant currency basis.


Building materials supplier SigmaRoc firmed 4.4% on news that it had agreed to acquire quarrying group GDH in two stages for £12.4m.

Petra Diamonds weakened by 0.2% as it also reported a fall in third-quarter production, though it left its output guidance for the year unchanged.

Agriculture and engineering group Carr's dropped 4.5% after it reported only a modest uptick in half-year pre-tax profits, as unexpected warm weather in the UK and US hurt agriculture volumes.

Software provider Sanderson jumped 7.5% after it revealed a 30% rise in first-half profit that beat its expectations.

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