UK Stocks end choppy day slightly in the black

Tue, 14th Jan 2020

UK stocks experienced a see-saw trading day which saw the FTSE 100 gain 0.5% by mid-morning only to slip into negative territory at midday, but by the close the index was up 0.13% to 7,627.81. Sectors in the black were general retailers, housebuilders and mobile telecoms, while the big losers were chemicals, industrial metals, paper and technology hardware Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey gained 4%% to 210p as it announced that it had erected 5% more homes in 2019 and sold them at slightly higher prices, helping it to achieve annual results in line with its expectations. Builders merchant Grafton firmed 4.7% to 898p after it lifted its full year operating profit outlook to £202m, roughly £10m above current market forecasts, following a better-than-expected end to the year. Online fashion retailer Boohoo rose 5% to a new all-time high of 334p after upgrading its annual revenue guidance, following a 44% jump in sales in the last four months of 2019. Miniature wargames retailer Games Workshop rallied 9.5% to £69.55, also a new all-time high, after it handed down a jump in first-half profit and hiked its dividend as its sales rose by nearly a fifth. Recruitment firm Page Group gained 4.6% to 489.4p even as its gross profit fell 2.6% in the fourth quarter owing to weakness in Asia and the UK. For the full year, gross profits rose 5.0% thanks to strength in the US. Further down the market junior oil producer Serica Energy rose 12.7% to 138.2p as it notched higher output form its interests in the Bruce, Keith, Rhum and Erskine assets in the North Sea. In contrast Tullow Oil shed 5% to 59.2p ahead of its scheduled trading update tomorrow. The firm has been beset by production downgrades and disappointing 'net pay' at one of its new developments. Chemicals company Elementis dropped 14% to 141.3p after it warned on profit following a 'subdued' final quarter, as its chromium and energy business segments were hurt by a challenging market backdrop. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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