Sterling slumps against dollar on possible ‘hard Brexit’

The FTSE 100 was broadly flat at 7,218 as sterling fell by 1% against the dollar to $1.21. A weekend interview with UK Prime Minister Theresa May suggested the UK is heading for a ‘hard Brexit’.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil tumbled 1.8% to $53 and $56 per barrel, respectively.

Gold was stable at $1,173 per ounce, while copper was flat at $5,599 per tonne.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Outsourcer Babcock International (BAB) nudged 2% lower as Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating to ‘hold’.

The government’s stake in Lloyds (LLOY) fell below 6% after it sold 700 million shares late on Friday. Shares traded 1.4% lower at 65p.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Iron ore producer Ferrexpo (FXPO) made solid gains after reporting record sales volumes in 2016 and a transformation of its balance sheet with $196m worth of debt retired.

Bookmaker William Hill (WMH) declined 2% as it warned 2016 operating profit will be at the bottom end of expectations due to unfavourable football and horseracing results in December.

After delivering a profit warning between over the Christmas break housebuilder Bovis Homes (BVS) announced chief executive David Ritchie is to step down with immediate effect. Finance director Earl Sibley was announced as his interim replacement.

Oil services business Petrofac (PFC) signed a $600m contract on a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) extraction project in southern Oman.

Shares in self-storage provider Safestyle (SAFE) remained flat despite like-for-like revenue climbing 8.1% and a 21% hike in its final dividend to 8p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Shopping centre marketing specialist SpaceandPeople (SAL) plummeted 22.2% to 17p. Trading in its key Christmas period fell short of expectations, which lead to speculation of a full year loss of around £650,000.

Metals exploration company Orogen (ORE) crashed 20.7% as its drilling programme on Galileo Resources’ Silverton property failed to identify new lithology.

Point-of-care business EKF Diagnostics (EKF) pleased investors as it revealed full year performance will exceed its revised market expectations, triggering a 8% rise in its share price to 18.5p.

Cloud-based portfolio analytics company StatPro (SOG) entered a five-year contract with a global South African asset manager for a minimum of £1.5m.

Veterinary medicines provider Animalcare Group (ANCR) received a boost on an upbeat trading update that revealed it is expecting to beat current expectations due to revenue growth.

AIM-listed Plexus (POS) agreed a four-year framework agreement to supply Centrica Norway with surface wellhead and mudline equipment services for jack up exploration wells in the North Sea.

Investors were relieved when clean water tech company HaloSource (HALO) announced its largest Chinese customer resumed shipments of in-home devices. HaloSource’s revenue last year was hit by a halt in shipments. The stock jumped 9% to 1.5p.

Smart tech provider RedstoneConnect (REDS) was 10.2% higher on expectations that adjusted EBITDA to 31 January 2017 will be at the upper end of expectations.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Merryn

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