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UK market stays under huge selling siege at midday

By BFN News | 11:59 AM | Friday 02 August, 2019


UK stocks stabilised at midday but continue to remain heavily in the red on Friday after US President Donald Trump threatened to slap more trade tariffs on Chinese imports. At midday the benchmark FTSE 100 is down 130 points, or approximately 1.7%, at 7,454.85, its' lowest in more than a month. LARGE COMPANIES IN FOCUS But is also a swathe of negative news from heavy-hitting corporates to add to the gloom, not least Royal Bank of Scotland, Friday's heaviest faller. It shares slumped close on 6% to 204.6p after the bank warned that it was 'very unlikely' to achieve its 2020 financial year targets of a return on equity of more than 12% and a cost-to-income ratio of less than 50%. This was despite profits more than doubling its first half and the bank declaring a 12p per share special dividend. RBS blamed current market conditions and economic uncertainty for the warning. Telecom giant BT saw its share price drop 4% to 186.16p after it reported a fall in profits and cash flow that hardened investor fears of a potential reduction in its dividend. British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) was having a better day, topping the FTSE 100 leader board with a 4% rise to 430.6p after the company reported a higher-than-expected 18% jump in first half earnings. Hungarian low-cost rival Wizz Air nudged up 1% or so to £35.07, partly in sympathy but largely due to its own 12% rise in passenger numbers during as it added new routes to and from London Luton, Moldova and Poland. Iron ore trader and miner Ferrexpo recovered from heavier losses earlier to post a 2.5% fall at 248p, even as it reported a 78% rise in its annual profit and doubled its interim dividend, owing to higher iron ore prices. SMALLER COMPANY MOVERS Under the cosh holidays firm Thomas Cook jumped 22% to 8.53p as Turkish entrepreneur Neset Kockar adds again to his stake. The tourism magnet has today taken his stake to 8.01% of Thomas Cook, building on initial share purchases on 31 July. That has sparked a near-50% rally in Thomas Cook's share price this week. Pet goods retailer and veterinary chain Pets at Home added 2% to 211.4p on guiding for its annual profit to be slightly above current market expectations, after its revenue grew by almost 10% in the first quarter. Wine retailer Majestic Wine reversed earlier declines to rally 3.6% to 286.5p as investors digested the longer-term impact of its deal to sell its retail and commercial units for £100m to concentrate on its Naked Wines online business. Fabrication and engineering group Lamprell crashed by more than 10% to 50p after it cut its annual revenue guidance, blaming delays to a number of contract awards. Goals Soccer Centres said it would cancel its listing on the London Stock Exchange after a probe into historic accounting practices uncovered evidence of 'improper behaviour'. The company's shares are currently suspended from trading. At 11:59am: (LON:BT.A) BT Group PLC share price was -7.52p at 186.4p (LON:FXPO) Ferrexpo PLC share price was -6.1p at 248.3p (LON:IAG) International Consolidated Airlines Group share price was +22p at 435.5p (LON:RBS) Royal Bank of Scotland Group The PLC share price was -12.2p at 204.9p (LON:WIZZ) Wizz Air Holdings Plc share price was -30.5p at 3519.5p Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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