Latest market news

Shell and BP slump on sharp oil price drop

A 2% drop in the price of oil weighed on shares in Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and BP (BP.).

Their large weighting in the FTSE 100 meant a decline in their share prices played a major role in pulling down the blue chip index by 0.7% to 7,237.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Wall Street nudged lower with the S&P 500 down 0.15% to 2,383 in early morning trading in the US. In Asia, the Hang Seng index ended the day 120 points higher at 24,698.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

High street bank Lloyds (LLOY) beat market expectations with its first quarter results, prompting analysts to say that earnings forecasts may have to be lifted by as much as 7%. Its shares ended the day 3.5% higher at 69.7p.

Lower sales of its cholesterol treatment Crestor dragged AstraZeneca (AZN) 0.4% lower to £46.67. Investors ignored reports of an encouraging start to 2017 and an update on its pipeline.

One of the Britain's largest housebuilders Taylor Wimpey (TW.) made a good start to 2017 and reassured the market that it would not be disrupted by the UK general election in June. Its shares rose 0.2% to 198.9p.

Also in the housebuilding sector, Persimmon (PSN) said its operational performance continued to be excellent and it delivered a higher volume of newly built homes, causing its shares to gain 2.5% to £23.43.

Mediclinic International (MDC) received a 6.6% boost to 779p after Abu Dhabi's government said it would no longer charge people extra to use private health.

Schroders (SDR) reported it continued to perform well going into 2017 as assets under management and administration increased 5% to £416.3bn at the end of March from £397.1bn at the beginning of the year.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Fidessa (FDSA) fell 7.6% to £24.11 after flagging that customers were taking longer than normal to make decisions.

Textile services group Berendsen (BRSN) rose 3.4% to 850.4p following a solid trading update. Gains in mainland Europe offset an expected decline in its UK textile operations and chief financial officer Kevin Quinn announced he would retire from Berendsen next year.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Herencia Resources (HER) raised approximately £1m to advance its Picachos and Pastizal projects, driving up the shares by 30.8% to 0.07p.

Synairgen (SNG) was in ill health after revealing its AZD9412 study did not meet its partner AstraZeneca's predefined criteria for progression. The FTSE 100 company decided to return the drug rights to Synairgen, prompting the latter's share price to slump by 50% to 13p.

Restaurant operator Richoux (RIC) crashed 24.7% to 20.7p after it flagged a tough start to the year and the need to raise more money to support a restructuring of its estate.