FTSE hit by utility and tobacco sell-off

A negative broker note on water stocks and fears about higher tobacco taxes put an end to this week’s rally in the FTSE 100.

United Utilities (UU.) and Severn Trent (SVT) fall after RBC Capital Market downgraded the water sector. British American Tobacco (BATS) and Imperial Brands (IMB) fell on reports that Russia may raise cigarette taxes by 10% next year. Both companies sell products in the country.

The mid cap index fell from its all-time high of 18,342 by 0.9% to 18,200, while the weak pound struggled to recover against the dollar and euro.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil gained 2.3% to $49.80 and Brent crude oil was up 2% to $51.90 per barrel, respectively.

Gold was flat at $1,267 per ounce and copper was stable at $4,762 per tonne.


Tesco (TSCO) made fresh gains of 9.7% to 207p after setting out plans to increase its profitability in the next three years following a 60% rise in first half profit and further UK underlying sales growth.

Morrison (MRW) rallied 1.1% higher on the back of the positive update.

The UK service sector continued its recovery following the shock referendum result as the Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 52.6 in September, which was slightly lower than 52.9 in August.

The British Retail Consortium said overall shop prices declined to 1.8% in September from 2% in August.


Silver and gold producer Fresnillo (FRES) dropped 2,8% to £16.75 after Deutsche reaffirmed its ‘sell’ recommendation and gold prices failed to recover from yesterday’s big sell-off.


TalkTalk (TALK) was stable despite getting hit with a £400,000 fine for security failings.

Mining group Centamin (CEY) nudged higher after revealing production for the full year would be at the top end of the guidance range after reporting increases during the third quarter as throughput levels remain above its internal targets.


Investors dug Nu-Oil (NUOG) after the company it invested in, Marginal Field Development (MFDevCo), entered an agreement with Aibel, who will become partner EPC contractor for MFDevCo’s marginal field initiative and future projects. Shares in the independent oil and gas firm rocketed 441% to 0.69p.

Knowledge management software provider NetDimensions (NETD) confirmed a potential takeover by an undisclosed company, triggering a share price rise of 33.3% to 61p.

Impact Holding (IHUK) crashed nearly 41% to 37.5p following its decision to seek shareholder approval to leave the AIM market.

Shares at Topps Tiles (TPT) cracked under pressure following a warning of weakening trading conditions as it moved into the fourth quarter. It said revenue for the year was anticipated to come in within the region of £215m, compared to £212m reported the year before. Investors were concerned, causing the share price to slump 8.3%.

Shares in mining group Premier African Minerals (PREM) jumped 23% to 0.4p as tests revealed significant tonnage of tungsten material at its RHA project in Zimbabwe.

Investors rallied behind Domino’s Pizza sub-franchiser DP Poland (DPP) following its latest growth funding cash call. DP Poland raised £3.2 million at 48p per share, demonstrating the market’s strong appetite for the investment. The stock rose 13.1% to 55p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com