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FTSE trims losses after Fed comments

Wed, 13th Nov 2019

UK stocks trimmed earlier losses on Wednesday after following a further indication from the US Federal Reserve that it is not likely to cut interest rates next month. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the current stance of the US central bank's policy is 'likely to remain appropriate' barring a material change in outlook. The comments moved the pound down 0.1% against the dollar, helping the exporter-heavy FTSE 100. The UK's benchmark index closed 14.23 points, or 0.19%, down at 7,351.21. LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Royal Mail gained 1.14% to 230p as it won a legal battle to prevent a postal strike after the High Court backed its application for an injunction. Tullow Oil tumbled 27% to 150p as the oil producer downgraded its annual production guidance owing to a disappointing performance from wells in Ghana. The company also warned the hit to output would impact on its free cash flow for the year, undermining efforts to trim its debt pile. Consumer goods group Unilever gained 0.6% to £46.25 after chairman Marijn Dekkers stood down having only been in the role since April 2016. Dekkers had chosen to leave to focus on his role as founder and chairman of investment group Novalis LifeSciences, Unilever said. He was replaced by current director Nils Andersen. Coca-Cola HBC, a bottler for the Coca-Cola company, fizzed 6.3% higher to £25.08, as it reported a rise in revenue despite poor weather keeping a lid on volume growth in the third quarter. House builder Taylor Wimpey dropped 2% to 167p despite an earlier gain on reporting that its sales rates and order book had grown in the year to date, as the UK housing market remained resilient despite political and economic uncertainty. Pub chain J D Wetherspoon rose 3.2% to £15.74 as it reported a rise in like-for-like for sales in the first quarter and said it continued to perform as expected for the full year. Engineering company Smiths added 3.3% to £16.72 as its underlying revenue from continuing operations rose 11% in the first quarter. The company also said its expectations for the full year were unchanged. Fluid path and thermal equipment company Spirax-Sarco Engineering moved 2.1% higher to £83.90, having announced that its operating profit had risen in the year to date, despite sales growth slowing due to subdued economic conditions. Property developer British Land shed 3.4% to 556p on the back of lower first-half profits hurt by weakness in retail markets. Eastern Europe focused budget carrier Wizz Air descended 3.3% to £37.43, despite posted a 91% jump in first-half profit and upwardly narrowing its annual profit forecast. Office space provider Workspace gained 1% to £10.99, even as it booked a 3% fall in first-half profit, owing to an absence of asset disposal proceeds. Rental income, however, rose and the company lifted its dividend by 10%. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Luxury handbag maker Mulberry fell 3.75% to 269p after it reported a deeper first-half loss owing to sales slipping at its UK business. Industrial chains supplier Renold fell 2.7% to 20.43p after it booked a fall in first-half profit, citing a more challenging economic backdrop. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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