FTSE advances as pound rebounds

Banking stocks including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds (LLOY) continued to rally, while the pound rebounded by 0.4% against the dollar to $1.26.

The blue chip index gained 0.3% to 1,173.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil retreated by 1% to $52.64 and $54.87 per barrel, respectively.

Gold cheapened 0.6% to $1,202 per ounce and copper was stable at $5,952 per tonne.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones both closed 0.5% higher, while Asian stocks were on a roll.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped by 1.4% after data revealed that exports in the country increased for the first time in over a year.


Copper miner Antofagasta (ANTO) impressed investors with a 13.8% rise in fourth quarter production and a better-than-expected 20% reduction in cash costs for 2016 overall.

Its peer BHP Billiton (BLT) confirmed production guidance for all commodities except copper with record iron ore output from West Australia.

Fresnillo (FRES) failed to rally as news of record silver and gold production was undermined by delays in implementing a turnaround plan.


Frankie & Benny’s owner Restaurant Group (RTN) fell by 10.6% to 310p as a post-close update revealed like-for-like sales growth declined by 5.9% in the fourth quarter. It implied the transformation programme launched last year was yet to have an impact.

Global newsagent and book flogger WHSmith (SMWH) took advantage of its captive market through its travel division as its full year profit growth is expected to be ahead of guidance.

Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone (MCS) was upbeat as year to date reservation were ahead of its prior year and contributed a further £206m of revenue to the firm’s order book.


Headlinemoney.co.uk owner Centaur Media (CAU) was one of the biggest small cap movers following its upbeat trading update. The company started the new financial year with recurring digital subscriptions 10% higher compared to last year.

Kennedy Ventures (KENV) delayed the installation of its new milling circuit to March as a result of required improvements to boost water retention at its new plant. The stock slumped 14% to 13p.

Fitness tracker firm Fitbug (FITB) slumped 28.3% to 0.19p after it announced a £1m placing at 0.2p.

Self-tanning firm InnovaDerma (IDP) clarified that its heads of agreement with PROS International for distribution was not made into a definitive contract. It informed the market that the minimum revenue expected from the deal was not reached, marking the shares 10.7% lower.

Listings brand Time Out (TMO) reported positive trading in the second half of its financial year with management expecting revenue to be higher than anticipated.

Generic pharmaceutical products manufacturer Beximco (BXP) sealed a joint venture with BioCare in its first overseas manufacturing collaboration.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com


Claim 12 issues of MoneyWeek (plus much more) for just £12!

Let MoneyWeek show you how to profit, whatever the outcome of the upcoming general election.

Start your no-obligation trial today and get up to speed on:

  • The latest shifts in the economy…
  • The ongoing Brexit negotiations…
  • The new tax rules…
  • Trump’s protectionist policies…

Plus lots more.

We’ll show you what it all means for your money.

Plus, the moment you begin your trial, we’ll rush you over THREE free investment reports:

‘How to escape the most hated tax in Britain’: Inheritance tax hits many unsuspecting families. Our report tells how to pass on up to £2m of your money to your family without the taxman getting a look in.

‘How to profit from a Trump presidency’: The election of Donald Trump was a watershed moment for the US economy. This report details the sectors our analysts think will boom from Trump’s premiership, and gives specific investments you can buy to profit.

‘Best shares to watch in 2017’: Includes the transcript from our roundtable panel of investment professionals – and 12 tips they’re currently tipping. The report also analyses key assets, including property, oil and the countries whose stock markets currently offer the most value.