FTSE falls on stronger pound

The FTSE 100 closed 1% down as National Grid (NG.) and British American Tobacco (BATS) pulled the blue chip index lower.

Sterling strengthened against the dollar by 0.2% to $1.24, a potential headwind for blue chip overseas earners.

US initial unemployment claims fell by 11,000 in the week to 5 November from the previous week’s unrevised level of 265,000.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was 1% lower at $44.82 and Brent crude oil fell 0.7% to $46 per barrel, respectively.

Gold fell 0.6% to $1,264 per ounce.


Cyclical industrial stocks including equipment hire outfit Ashtead (AHT) and builders merchant Travis Perkins (TPK) continued to rally following Trump’s win.

Fresnillo (FRES) and Randgold Resources (RRS) gave back some of the near-double digit gains achieved in the wake of Trump’s election win.

Copper miner Antofagasta (ANTO) was one of the biggest risers on the stock market as copper continued its rally. The metal gained 3% to $5,577 per tonne.

Barclays (BARC) traded 4.2% higher at 201p, as financial stocks gained on the prospects of higher interest rates and better interest rate margins.

Shares in Mediclinic (MDC) slumped after it reported that revenue growth in the Middle East is expected at the bottom end of expectations. This was blamed on the continued weak macro-economic environment and the delayed opening of its Al Jowhara facility.

National Grid disappointed investors as pre-tax profit fell from £1,371m in the six months to 30 September 2015 to £1,359m over the same period this year.

Private equity firm 3i (III) dipped 7.8% to 604.5p despite its NAV increasing from 463p on 31 March 2016 to 551p on 31 September.


Construction trade supplier Grafton (GFTU) was on higher ground despite like-for-like revenue growth slowing to 2.4% in the four months to 31 October, compared to 4.2% growth in the preceding six months.

Superdry brand owner SuperGroup (SGP) advanced on a better-than-expected first half trading and strategy update. The firm shrugged off warm weather in August and September to deliver 12.8% growth in like-for-like sales, with wholesale revenues up nearly 44%.

Bicycles retailer Halfords (HFD) reversed 4.7% to 327.3p as interim results revealed a sharp drop in earnings, with margins impacted by the weaker pound, cycling product promotions and investments in long-term growth.


ServicePower Technologies (SVR) soared 60% to 4p on confirmation that it is in preliminary discussions with Jonas Computing, which could lead to a takeover offer.

A profit warning caused sausage skins maker Devro (DVO) to crash 17.4% to 186.5p. Amid muted sales in Latin America, Devro will invest in new products and manufacturing efficiencies to improve its competitive position.

Wincanton (WIN) surged 8.4% to 202p as chief executive Adrian Colman flags falling net debt and rising profitability as an opportunity to invest further in growing the business.

Juicier profit margins helped the logistics specialist to a 19.2% gain in underlying operating profit, at £26.1m. Revenue declined slightly as Wincanton exits loss-making contracts.

Mobile Streams (MOS) plummeted 27.8% to 10p after slumping from a profit of £0.83m to a loss before tax of £0.74m.

Wireless solutions developer Starcom (STAR) climbed 7.5% after Amerijet Airlines approved its Kylos Air GPS tracking device for Air Cargo.

Ophir’s (OPHR) subsidiary Ophir Holdings & Ventures signed a binding shareholders’ agreement to establish a joint operating company to develop the Fortuna project.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com