FTSE consolidates gains while pound climbs on election optimism

Wed, 4th Dec 2019

UK stocks held onto their gains on Wednesday with the FSTE 100 index closing up 15 points or 0.2% at 7,174 on growing expectations of a Conservative majority in next week's general election. The news also sent the pound up 0.8% against the US dollar to a six-month high of $1.31. Domestic-facing financial stocks were among the winners with Lloyds Bank up 2.2% to 60.5p and Legal & General up 2.1% to 276p. Miners were mixed with Evraz up 3.5% to 357p and Antofagasta up 2% to 863p while gold-digger Fresnillo was the weakest stock in the FSTE 100 losing 6.1% to 547p. Grocery delivery firm Ocado added 2.3% to £12.21 after a see-saw start to the week while supermarket chain Morrisons dropped 1.7% to 196.25p as it promoted Trevor Strain to the role chief operating officer. Vodafone gained 0.2% to 146p after announcing that it would partner with Amazon Web Services to offer 5G cloud computing services to businesses in Europe. MID- AND SMALL-CAP MOVERS Central Europe focused spirits producer Stock Spirits rallied 10% to 207p after reporting a 25% rise in annual profit, boosted by strong vodka sales in Poland and rum sales in the Czech Republic. Cafe, bar and restaurant group Loungers rose 2.5% to 202p after the rollout of more sites helped boost its revenue and narrow losses. Betting firm Webis rallied 2% to 1.22p as it secured an extension of its Cal Expo harness racing operations through to 2025. Fashion retailer Quiz slumped 7% to 15.6p, having swung to a first-half loss, as sales slipped and it wrote down the value of its stores. Toy supplier Character shed 11% to 370p after it booked a fall in profits as the demise of Scandinavian retailer Top Toy continued to weigh on demand. Advertising company M&C Saatchi plunged 46% to 79.3p after hitting investors with a barrage of bad news, including that it would make adjustments of £11.6m to its results owing to accounting errors. The company also warned of a 'substantial' fall in underlying profits due to weaker trading conditions and said it would restructure its London office. At market close: (LON:EVR) Evraz Plc share price was +11.8p at 357.2p (LON:FRES) Fresnillo PLC share price was -37.2p at 545.4p (LON:LLOY) Lloyds Banking Group PLC ORD share price was +1.4p at 60.57p (LON:SAA) MC Saatchi PLC share price was -67.75p at 79p (LON:STCK) Stock Spirits Group share price was +17.6p at 206p Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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