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FTSE Flat After Royal Mail Warnings

Tue, 21st May 2019

The FTSE 100 fell slightly on Thursday, following mixed economic signals from China, France and the USA. The UK’s leading index closed down b 0.48 points, at 6,820.56, as mining shares boosted the index during a see-saw trading day.

The biggest gainer of the day was brewing company SABMiller, who saw their shares climb by 112.5p after the company announced that it had seen a one percent increase in full-year profits, and revealed details of a new cost-cutting program that would help to save $500 million per year by 2018.

The mining sector as a whole posted significant gains, with Antofagasta gaining 15p, and Fresnillio gaining 15.5p thanks to positive economic data coming out of China. Another big gainer was the medical equipment maker Smith & Nephew, who saw their shares increase by 20p after the UK competition authority cleared it’s proposal to acquire Texas-based company ArthoCare for $1.7 billion

Further deal making in other sectors boosted the market, with British American Tobacco considering a three-way merger with Lorillard and Reynolds American. This news helped tobacco stocks in general, although British American Tobacco closed up by just 0.5 percent by the end of the day

Shares in Halfords increased by 46.6p, boosted by an increase in the popularity of cycling of late, which can be attributed to the British successes in the 2012 Olympics as well as the Tour De France. The company has seen a huge increase in cycling related sales and enjoyed profits well in excess of expectations.

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