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FTSE 100 falls as resource stocks struggle

Thursday, 2nd May 2019
By the close the FTSE 100 was 0.5% lower at 7,348.93 after the Bank of England kept rates on hold and amid weakness in the resources sector driven by volatile commodity prices.

Hopes of a recovery in US stocks, which slumped on a hawkish tone from Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell yesterday, faded with the S&P 500 flat at 2,922.29 by 4.30pm UK time.


Oil major Royal Dutch Shell added 1.75% even as it posted a 2% decline in first-quarter profit as strong contributions from trading and higher LNG and gas prices were unable to completely offset the impact of lower realised oil prices and tax credits.

The showing was better than expected, although weak oil prices saw the shares surrender earlier larger gains.

Medical devices firm Smith & Nephew gained 2.9% as it guided for revenue growth at the higher end of guidance for 2019.

Gambling outfit Paddy Power Betfair slumped 5.1% despite noting that its full-year profit outlook remained in line with expectations as 'excellent' growth in Australia and the US drove a 17% year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenue.

Banking firm Lloyds fell 1.5% as it reported flat first-quarter profits that fell short of market expectations amid exceptional costs including charges relating to payment protection insurance and an estimated charge for pulling the Standard Life Aberdeen investment mandate.

Consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser lost 0.5% after it posted a 1% increase in like-for-like sales in the first quarter, but said the slow start had been expected and left its full-year revenue target unchanged.

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce dipped 0.8% as it said trading to date was in line with expectations and that it remained on track to meet its full-year targets.

Kitchen seller Howden Joinery added 2.9% after it posted a 5.7% rise in revenues for first 16 weeks of the year as the company hiked up prices in January, against the backdrop of strong volume comparators last year.

Share registrar Equiniti added 2.5% as it said it had started the year "well" and was confident of meeting full-year expectations after winning a string of new mandates.

Property and casualty insurer Lancashire Holdings dropped 5.9% as it posted a modest uptick in premiums in the first quarter amid a relatively "benign" claims environment.

Challenger bank Metro Bank sank 15.5% as costs, revenue and deposits all decline in a set of first quarter numbers which fall well short of expectations.


Electrical equipment firm Zytronic fell 24% after flagging a decline in first half profit and revenue thanks to weakening demand from the gaming sector.

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