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FTSE falls ahead of Spring Statement

Tuesday, 13th March 2018
The FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 7,202 following negative investor sentiment in the US and Asia and ahead of the Spring Statement from Chancellor Phillip Hammond to highlight the UK's general fiscal policy.

Miners failed to boost the blue-chip index despite taking the lead from Antofagasta (ANTO).

Antofagasta benefitted from higher metal prices after its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 59.1% to $2.6bn in the year to 31 December. Its shares rose 1.7% to 903p.

Glencore (GLEN) and Randgold Resources (RRS) enjoyed an uplift of up to 1.4% each.

Brent crude oil was stable at $64.90 per barrel.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

In the US, the market was concerned about President Donald Trump's tariffs on aluminium and steel imports, leaving the Dow Jones and S&P in the red overnight.

Asian equities did not fare much better with Japan's Nikkei 225 outperforming with a gain of 0.6% to 21,968 this morning.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Convenience food business Greencore (GNC) crashed 27.7% to 132p following a warning that US profit growth is expected to decline in the year to 30 September 2018.

Cairn Energy (CNE) revealed successful development on its Senegal oil fields and first oil production from its North Sea operations, but this failed to move the stock at 210.2p.

Difficulties in France this year hit computer services firm Computacenter (CCC) causing the shares to fall 9% to £10.26.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND GALLERS

Tonic water business Fevertree (FEVR) lost its fizz, down 6.2% at £25.23, after its profit margin fell slightly from 55.2% in 2016 to 53.5%.

Fashion retailer French Connection (FCCN) was in the spotlight, rallying 24.6% to 42p after its full year results to 31 January 2018 implied a change in fortunes. Sales at the company were up 0.5% to £157m, which was better than a 6.7% decline in the previous year.

Shares in Minoan (MIN) catapulted 29.5% to 6.8p on news it should be debt-free after selling its travel and leisure division, as well as signs of recovery in the Greek property market.

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO) rose 20.6% to 3.7p after entering a collaboration with a major biotech firm in a deal worth up to $250,000.

Pawnbroker H&T (HAT) reported pre-tax profit jumped 32.1% to £14.1m and its personal loan book nearly doubled, helping the shares advance 0.3% to 354p.

Investors were in profit taking mode at audio visual support services firm Midwich (MIDW), which was down 4.4% at 569p. Pre-tax profit surged 56.2% to £18.9m in 2017.


Story provided by StockMarketWire.com


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