Pound falls to its lowest in three months on possible ‘hard Brexit’

The pound plummeted to its lowest level in three months on reports that UK Prime Minister Theresa May is set to quit the EU single market under a ‘hard Brexit’.

Miners Fresnillo (FRES), BHP Billiton (BLT) and Anglo American (AAL) were among the top blue chip risers as the weaker sterling boosted dollar-denominated earnings.

Despite the rally, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,341.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil slipped 0.3% to $52 and $55 per barrel, respectively.

Gold rose 0.4% to $1,200 an ounce and copper cheapened 0.2% to $5,886 per tonne.

The British Retail Consortium revealed footfall in the High Street rose for the first time in December since 2011.

In the US, the S&P 500 closed 0.2% higher at 2,274 and the Dow Jones index was flat at 19,885. To commemorate Martin Luther King Day, both will not open today.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was 1% lower at 22,718 and Shanghai’s SSE Composite index slipped into negative territory.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Gold producer Acacia Mining (ACA) confirmed it is in preliminary discussions regarding a possible tie-up with Endeavour Mining, which is developing a portfolio of mines in the prolific West African region.

Asset manager Ashmore (ASHM) was 3.9% higher despite a decline in second quarter assets under management. CEO Mark Coombs said stronger emerging asset prices in December continued into the New Year and flagged a strong performance in 2017.

Brick maker Ibstock (IBST) warned that national brick imports declined significantly over the year to 31 December, which concerned investors.

The market cheered dehumidifier equipment supplier Aggreko’s (AGK) contract extensions in Argentina.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Self-tanning products developer Innovaderma (IPD) plummeted 25.7% as shareholders were keen to cash in on profit following its trading update. Revenue grew by over 80% year-on-year due to the strong performance of its self-tanning brand Skinny Tan. IDP’s shares soared by approximately 230% over the last six weeks.

Software company Wandisco (WAND) sparked 18.7% to 266p on record fourth quarter bookings of $6m as total bookings for the year increased by 72%.

Global Energy Development (GED) decided to reinvent itself as Nautilus Services following a reverse takeover. It conditionally agreed to buy 11 offshore subsea service vessels and a barge vessel to focus on the subsea oilfield services sector.

Publishing services provider Ingenta (ING) gained 18.2% as investors were excited by its announcement that it will pay its first dividend of 1p per share for the 2016 financial year.

Metal project developer Ferrum Crescent (FCR) suffered a 10.7% drop in its stock after its joint venture partner Business Venture Investments failed to complete Phase I of its bankable feasibility study. The study was for Ferrum Crescent’s Moonlight iron project in South Africa.

European regional airline Flybe (FLYB) announced that Christine Ourmieres-Widener is now CEO, following the shock resignation of Saad Hammad in November.

Shares in life science software developer Instem (INS) jumped 5% following a rise in revenues in 2016 despite a slowdown in the early phase clinical market and contract delays.

South American-focused gold producer Orosur Mining (OMI) rose 9.6% to 16.8p on improved second quarter cash generation and a swing from a quarterly loss into profit.

Tethyan Resources (TETH) reported encouraging intercepts of copper based on its first test results from samples taken from its Suva Ruda project.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com