Date: 12/04/2018

The FTSE 100 is modestly off as it heads towards the market close, weighed down by a weak start on Wall Street, ongoing global tensions over Syria and downbeat UK production figures from the Office for National Statistics. Close to the end of the Wednesday session the index was about 10 points, or 0.14%, down to 7,254.57. [rml_read_more]

The Wednesday trading session on Wall Street got off to a mixed start after President Donald Trump taunted Russia on Twitter to ‘get ready’ for a possible missile strike on Syria. That had the effect of lifting oil prices to three-year highs.


Tesco (TSCO) topped the blue-chip leader board after rallying more than 7% to 225.3p after the supermarket giant reported a large jump in annual profit and upped its dividend as its recovery got into full swing. Rival grocery chain Sainsbury’s (SBRY) gained 0.7%, while Morrison’s (MRW) added 1.9%.

High-flying online retailer ASOS (ASC) staged a massive recovery in afternoon trading to close just 2% lower at £68.82. This after earlier falls of 11% after profit and revenue growth missed expectations and the company forecast higher spending.

Property developer Hammerson (HMSO) fell 1% to 521.8p after it rejected a revised takeover bid from Klepierre, claiming that it ‘very significantly’ undervalued the company.

Retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone (MCS) shed 3% to 132.9p. Its first-half profit halved amid ‘subdued’ market conditions.

Recruitment firm Page Group (PAGE) dropped 2% to 540.5p, as investors looked past growth in first-quarter earnings and focused on a decline in profit at its UK division.

Auto retailer BCA Marketplace (BCA) lost some of its earlier gains but still ended the day nearly 6% higher at 173p, thanks to news that it is trading ahead of market expectations. The stock had been up around 9% earlier in the day.



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High-tech components maker Oxord Instruments (OXIG) saw its share price gains accelerate through the afternoon session to end the day more than 10% up at 879p. The surge comes after the company confirmed that full year trading is bang on track with forecasts, but net debt is significantly lower.

Bathroom products supplier Norcros (NXR), meanwhile, said its annual revenue was expected to grow by around 10.7% following its acquisition of Merlyn. Its shares, however, declined 0.9% to 184.5p after it revealed 50 more job cuts at its troublesome tiles division.

EasyHotel (EZH) posted a strong update revealing expansion plans which helped drive the shares 3% higher to 114.5p.

Cyber security group Intercede (IGP) reversed earlier losses to end the day up nearly 2% at 27.5p after confirming the appointment of Klaas van der Leest as its new chief executive.

Point-of-sale technology provider Universe Group (UNG) also turned earlier losses on their head despite contract delays dragging on full year profits. The share price closed up a little more than 2% at 5.62p.

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