FTSE 100 flat as HSBC drags

The blue chip index was flat at 7,057 as bank disputes with the US Department of Justice and a weak trading session in Asia hit index heavyweight HSBC.

In economics news, UK economic performance in the third quarter expanded more quickly than previously thought as the Office for National Statistics upgraded its earlier measurement of 0.5% to 0.6%.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil both fell 0.8% to $52.52 and $54.60 per barrel, respectively.

Gold gained 0.2% to $1,130 per ounce and copper was flat at $5,489 per tonne.


Barclays (BARC) nudged 1.4% lower after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a complaint concerning its residential mortgage-backed securities activities between 2005-2007, with allegations including mail and wire fraud.

Deutsche Bank settled for $7.1bn with the US enforcement agency and Credit Suisse said it agreed a $5.3bn penalty.

Barclays said it will ‘vigorously defend the complaint and intends to seek its dismissal at the earliest opportunity.’

HSBC, which already paid billions in fines relating to misconduct, was also among the losers after a weak trading session for financial in Asia overnight. Shares traded 1.6% lower at 644.4p.

Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca (AZN) completed the sale of commercialisation and development rights to its late-stage small molecule antibiotics business for $550m to Pfizer helping its shares to rise 1.1% to £43.93.


Shares in pharmaceuticals midcap Vectura (VEC) gained 1.6% to 136.8p as it sealed a development and licence deal with Mundipharma for its inhaler to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Investment company Guscio (GUSC) was the biggest small cap faller as its operating loss soared by more than threefold from £286,000 to £889,000 in the year to 30 September 2016. The stock plummeted 45.4% to 1.5p.

NetDimensions (NETD) sparked 9.9% to 73.6p after it announced it is ‘in advanced discussions with interested parties’ following a bid approach in October. This update accompanied a strong trading statement, which CEO Jay Shaw reported a $2m full year EBITDA profit on $26m of sales for 2016.

Embattled managed services IT and Communications supplier Redcentric (RCN) swung from a loss to a half year profit before tax and flagged a strong £93m sales pipeline. The news failed to sway the market either way with the stock flat at 85.3p.

Logistics and aviation specialist Dart (DTG) ordered four new Boeing 737-800NG jets in addition to the 30 it ordered last year. The company said it bought the aircraft, valued at $384m, to meet anticipated growth in the its travel business Jet2Holidays.

Big data firm Wandisco (WAND) nudged lower as CEO David Richards sold £290,000 worth of shares at 200p.

Telecommunications solutions provider Artilium (ARTA) acquired ELLO Mobile through its subsidiary United Telecom for €300,000.

Security company Mortice (MORT) raised £2.3m through a discounted shares placing, which will be used to reduce debt.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com