Strong pound hits FTSE 100

A stronger pound pushed the FTSE 100 0.8% lower to 7,192 as it put the overseas earners on the index under pressure.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) was one of the biggest fallers as it slipped nearly 2% to £23.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil advanced 0.5% to $51.36 and $54.19 per barrel, respectively.

Gold fell 0.9% to $1,200 per ounce and copper slumped 0.5% to $5,732 per tonne.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones slipped 0.2% lower, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.9% to 19,072. Both Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Shanghai’s SSE Composite closed in negative territory.


UK mail delivery service Royal Mail (RMG) was the biggest blue chip faller as revenue dipped marginally over the festive period, encompassed by its third quarter.

Chief executive Moya Greene maintained that earnings for the year to 31 March 2017 will be in line with analyst forecasts.

Occupancy rates at British Land (BLND) dipped from 98% to 97% in its third quarter, prompting the shares to trade 3.6% lower at 595.5p.


Investors were not impressed with Polymetal’s (POLY) decision to acquire up to a 50% indirect interest in the Prognoz silver deposit in Russia.

Price comparison site Moneysupermarket (MONY) was up 8% to 327p as a pre-close update revealed revenue up 20% in the final quarter of 2016.

Puppy treats pusher Pets at Home (PETS) disappointed as it flagged ‘softer-than-anticipated’ retail sales, which was offset by growth in vet services and online sales.

Online retailer N Brown (BWNG) rose 6.8% after revealing double digit growth in its ladies wear range. This helped online sales rise by 12% and comprised 70% of total sales.

Bike retailer Halfords (HFD) reported solid trading in the 15 weeks to 13 January, resulting in a declaration of a special dividend of 10p a share. Like-for-like sales were 5.9% higher, driven by more demand for child seats.

Miner Acacia Mining (ACA) smashed previous guidance with record full year production of 829,705 ounces of gold. Unfortunately, the poor performance of its Buzwagi mine and a weaker gold price dragged the stock lower.


A profit warning at printing business St Ives (SIV) caused the stock to crash 40% to 76p. It blamed various project cancellations and deferrals in the last quarter of the current financial year.

The market was frustrated with fitness tracker provider Fitbug (FITB) after it confirmed its deal with an undisclosed Asian financial services group was only worth £60,000. Shares in the firm plummeted 48.4% after the stock soared by 372% yesterday.

Greatland Gold (GGP) confirmed gold mineralisation at its Ernest Giles project in Western Australia, triggering a 56.7% surge in its share price to 0.29p.

Geotechnical contractor Van Elle (VANL) suffered a 14.6% hit in its share price as investors honed in on an 8.1% decline in operating profit, due to higher overhead investment.

The market was frustrated by oil and gas explorer’s Frontera Resources (FRR) delays in completing in completing a new six well stimulation program as it waited for additional pumping equipment.

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