FTSE 100 edges close to parity by the close

Writer, Stock Market Wire
Friday, May 17, 2019 - 16:36

Amid continuing Brexit-inspired weakness in sterling, the FTSE 100 recovered some of its earlier losses to trade broadly flat by the end of trading on Friday.

US stocks recovered from a slow start with the S&P 500 up 0.3% to 2,883.81 by around 4.30pm UK time.

Takeaways firm Just Eat slumped 7.9% as it emerged overnight that Amazon had been the major investor in rival Deliveroo's latest funding round. Embattled travel operator Thomas Cook fell a further 40% as Citigroup issued a research note with a 0p price target.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Sports retailer Sports Direct ticked up 0.6% as it announced plans to sell and lease back its Shirebrook warehouse facility.

EasyJet gained 5.5% despite delivering a wider first-half loss, as it more-or-less stuck to its annual guidance amid a challenging time for travel companies.

Software company Sage gained 0.9% as it booked a slight fall in first-half adjusted earnings, after rising sales were offset by weaker margins.

Restaurant Group dipped 0.9% despite revenue jumping 57% in the year to date, owing to its recent acquisition of Wagamama, new site openings and a 2.8% improvement in like-for-like sales.

Metro Bank jumped 24.3% after it raised £375m from a discounted placing of its shares, exceeding its £350m target and helping to cool concerns about the challenger bank's financial health.

Investment firm IntegraFin dipped 0.9% despite declaring a maiden interim dividend as its first-half profits grew by nearly a fifth.

Cairn Energy shed gained 0.9% on reiterating its annual production guidance.

Publishing firm Future gained 19.5% as acquisitions helped it post a record set of first half numbers with revenue more than doubling to £108.7m.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Recruitment and training company Staffline tumbled 60% as it warned on profits, blaming Brexit uncertainty and the delayed release of its annual results for hurting demand.

Online marketing minnow for the gambling sector Veltyco dropped 26.4% after it warned of a first-half loss.