Financial stocks push FTSE higher

The blue chip index closed 0.3% higher at 6,753, which was driven by financial stocks.

Barclays (BARC) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were the biggest gainers on the FTSE 100, trading up to 5% higher, while Prudential (PRU) and HSBC (HSBA) achieved smaller jumps of over 2%.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fell 2.5% to $42.32 and Brent crude oil declined 2.4% to $43.69 per barrel, respectively.

Gold slumped 0.9% to $1,212 per ounce and copper gained 0.2% to $5,533 per tonne.


Support services business DCC (DCC) reported strong first half results and a positive outlook. The company said it expects to deliver full year operating profit and earnings per share ahead of market expectations. DCC also flagged news of the £96m acquisition of French natural gas retail and marketing business Gaz Europeen.


Shares in bookmaker William Hill (WMH) were stable after announcing 2016 operating profits will be at the top end of the previous £260m to £280m guidance. Net revenue grew 6% in the third quarter, led by growth in the online business following investments in the mobile sportsbook offer.

Convenience food maker Greencore (GNC) made fresh gains of 9.5% to 319.7p on news of the £594.3m acquisition of Peacock Foods, a frozen meals maker that will transform its US business. Greencore’s full year results showed strong growth across the UK and US food-to-go markets.


Industrial fuel cell power company AFC Energy (AFC) rallied 23% to 22.7p as it highlighted a significant advance in the development of its fuel cell system.

Investors were excited by transport community solutions provider 21st Century Technology’s (C21) contract win. OFJ Connections Gatwick Airport chose the firm to provide integrated real-time passenger information and connected bus systems.

Aureus Mining (AUE) reported low gold recover due to inadequate oxygen generating capacity of its existing process plant and immediate action to address the issue. Despite this, low recoveries meant that management expected production to be in the range of 17,000 to 20,000 ounces.

Publisher Johnston Press (JPR) was hot off the presses after responding to speculation in the Sunday Times over the potential for asset sales. Johnston, owner of i newspaper and other regional titles, said it is looking to sell businesses so it can buy back debt trading below par value.

Agricultural brand Carr’s (CARR) rebounded 3.2% to 143p on solid full year results, delivered in tough agricultural market conditions. Investors were also reassured by the news first quarter trading started positively with a ‘continued stabilising of farmgate milk prices’.

Story provided by