“The FTSE100 was broadly flat in lunchtime trading but sterling fell by 1% against the dollar to $1.21 after a weekend interview with Prime Minister Theresa May suggested the UK is heading for a 'hard Brexit',” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Iron ore producer Ferrexpo’s shares jumped after it reported record sales in 2016 and a transformation of its balance sheet with $196m worth of debt retired. Total pellet production fell to 11.2 million tonnes from 11.7m tonnes a year ago due to an increase in higher performance premium pellets, the refurbishment of the travelling grate in the pelletiser and a drop in production from low margin third party concentrate. Ferrexpo is seeing strong global demand for its pellets and sales rose to 11.7m tonnes from11.3m tonnes in 2015. Ferrexpo’s shares were up by more than 7% in lunchtime trading.
“Output at Centamin’s Sukari gold mine in Egypt rose by 25% to 551,036 ounces in 2016 but it warned that production this year will be lower at around 540,000 ounces. The open pit at Sukari is scheduled to develop a low grade east wall cutback in the first quarter and planned gold production will be lower than the previous three months. With ongoing optimisation, there remains scope for further increases in productivity and production growth. Centamin forecasts an all-in sustaining cost of $790 per ounce for this year and while the price of gold has retreated by about 10% since the US election to $1,173 per ounce this still implies a healthy profit.
“Shopping centre marketing specialist SpaceandPeople’s plummeted after trading in its key Christmas period fell short of expectations and it warned of full-year losses of around £650,000. Retail merchandising unit sales were significantly lower than anticipated with demand during the normally lucrative Christmas period particularly weak. Revenue from the group’s mobile promotion kiosk business was lower than budgeted as the roll out of units to new venues was delayed, although at £1.6m this was 138% up on last time. SpaceandPeople’s shares were down by over 18.1% in lunchtime trading.”
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