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ITV lower on ad warning but FTSE recovers some ground

August 29, 2017 3:37 PM
209 0 - A relatively measured response from Donald Trump to the North Korea's decision to fire a missile over Japan helped prevent big falls on Wall Street and saw the FTSE 100 pare some of its earlier losses.

Precious metals miners Fresnillo (FRES) and Randgold Resources (RRS) remained the top FTSE risers.

Having started lower the S&P 500 was broadly flat after the first couple of hours of trading. Earlier, and after North Korea's provocative action, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.5% at 19,362.55.

Broadcaster ITV (ITV) slipped 4.6% to 153.5p after its German rival ProSiebenSat warned on the outlook for TV advertising.

Business supplies company Bunzl (BNZL) softened 2% to £22.88, despite posting first half results showing further increases in sales and earnings per share, a continuation of its 24 year track record of dividend growth and announcing its first acquisition in China. Some investors are focusing on a 20 basis point decline in group operating margin to 6.6%, mainly reflecting the impact of lower margin business bagged in North America.

Outsourcer Mitie (MTO) was finished up 0.2% at 266.4p despite news the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating the timeliness of a profit warning last September, the first of three earnings alerts in five months. The FCA is also examining 'the manner of preparation and content' of Mitie's accounts for the year to 31 March 2016.

Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group (RTN) soured 3% to 315.2p as investors digest Peel Hunt leisure analyst Douglas Jack's view that its recovery could take longer than expected. Jack has downgraded his recommendation from 'hold' to 'reduce' ahead of half year results (31 Aug) he forecasts will show a near-30% slump in profit before tax to £26.1m.

Home shopping firm Findel (FDL) sparked up 14.4% to 185.6p on a positive trading statement ahead of today's annual general meeting (AGM). The online value retailer has made a good start to the year, with biggest business Express Gifts growing customers and revenue in the 20 weeks to 18 August and Findel Education seeing an improved performance in recent weeks following a difficult start to the year.

Gift packaging-to-creative play products maker IG Design (IGR) improved by 1.7% to 386.4p on news of a strong first quarter to June, which combined with a record order book, gives management 'confidence in the outcome for the full financial year'.

X-ray screening systems supplier Image Scan (IGE) surges 16.2% higher to 8.25p as it upgraded guidance for the year to September following a rapid order book increase.

Software and services company Gresham Technologies (GHT) took on 2p at 181p after announcing a third North American bank win for its Clareti software platform in the last nine months.


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