The blue-chip index failed to make any gains as US interest rate hike fears hit market confidence. Banking stocks, including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Standard Chartered (STAN) and Lloyds (LLOY), were pushed into negative territory. Iron ore producer BHP Billiton (BLT) Anglo American (AAL) and Antofagasta (ANTO) fell by up to 2.6%. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil slid 1.3% to $45.28 and Brent crude oil nudged 1.2% lower to $47.43 per barrel, respectively. Gold declined 0.5% to $1,323 per ounce and copper cheapened 1.3% to $4,541 per tonne. BLUE CHIP RISERS AND FALLERS Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) stumbled 10.7% to £28.19, despite better-than-expected trading with translational benefits from weaker sterling. It said full-year earnings per share is expected to be ahead of last year, but warned of a higher interest charge next year, due to lower UK long-term bond yields pushing its UK pension scheme into a deficit. Shares in tourism business TUI (TUI) slumped after completing the disposal of Hotelbeds Group to GNVA Acquisitions for €1,191 million. Marks and Spencer (MKS) dipped 5% after announcing its multi-channel executive director Laura Wade-Gery will leave the company. MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Vedanta’s (VED) announcement that Cairn India shareholders approved its merger with the natural resources firm was met with disapproval from the market, as shares nudged 1.5% lower. SVG Capital (SVI) received an unsolicited offer from private equity firm Harbourvest for 650p per share in cash and urged shareholders to not act as the firm will publish its interim results on 20 September. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Difficult trading conditions in China hit Zibao Metals Recycling (ZBO), which plummeted 15.6% to 0.95p. Profit after taxation dropped from HKD7.7 million to HKD0.6 million for the period to 31 March. Investors dug iron ore exploration company Keras Resources (KRS) following the acquisition of the Klondyke gold project and right to mine contiguous tenements with control over the Warrawoona Greenstone Belt. The miner traded 27.2% higher at 0.795p. Clear Leisure (CLP) soared 109.8% to 1.42p after announcing it will focus on monetising assets and recovering shareholder funds in the UK and Italy. HG Capital Trust (HGT) traded 4.5% higher on positive interims showing a continued strong net asset value (NAV) performance, which was driven by double-digit sales and profit growth across its portfolio. Cake decoration firm Real Good Food (RGD) delivered a positive trading update with strong order intake its premium bakery business, in the first four months of the financial year. The company also decided to start paying dividends and said it has not seen any material negative impact on its operations following the Brexit vote. Xcite Energy (XEL) crashed 69.7% to 2.5p following an announcement that its restructuring of its bonds may leave little on the table for existing shareholders. Billing Services (BILL) announced its local exchange carrier (LEC) indicated it will act beyond its consent decree, which may affect the company’s revenue and earnings in the current financial year and in the future. Shares declined 27.5% to 2.9p. Investors were concerned about increased costs for Bellzone’s (BZM) ferronickel project, which was mainly due to interest on a $13.7 million loan from major shareholder Hudson Global. TechFinancials (TECH) charged 11.5% higher to 14.5p as operating profit rocketed from $0.10 million to $1.59 million in the first half of this year, driven by higher revenue and profit. Tern (TERN) was up 4.6% after its subsidiary Device Authority became a Dell IoT solutions partner, which aims to enable IoT solutions that deliver clear returns on investment. Social media platform MySQUAR (MYSQ) pleased investors following expected significant revenue growth from its gaming business in the next few months due to growing revenue from MyFish and Hawk Hero.
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