UK stocks open 0.3% lower on weak China data; oil plays surge

Mon, 16th Sep 2019

UK stocks opened lower on Monday after weak Chinese industrial production stoked global growth concerns. Oil producers rallied after an attack on a major Saudi Arabian production facility sent crude prices soaring. At 0848, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was dowbn 23.8 points, or 0.3%, at 7.343.66. BP gained 3.5% to 521.9p while Shell climbed 2.7% to 2,343.5p. Tullow Oil jumped 8.0% to 240p on announcing that it had discovered more oil offshore Guyana, this time with its Joe-1 exploration well. A minority shareholder in the well, Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas, added 10% to 193p. Direct Line Insurance lost 1.2% to 298.2p as it announced the appointment of Tim Harris as its new chief financial officer. Harris was most previously deputy chief executive and finance director of the Royal London Group. Investment manager Man Group fell 1.8% to 162.45p as it revealed that chairman Ian Livingston would stand down at the end of December. He would be replaced as chairman by current independent director John Cryan. Bakery group Finsbury Food rallied 9.6% to 71.8p as it posted a large rise in annual profit and hiked its dividend 7.1% amid higher sales. Its underlying earnings, however, fell due to thinning margins. Gas mask developer Avon Rubber shed 0.1% to 1,676p after it announced that it still expected its revenue to rise by about 4% on a constant currency basis in the current financial year, with a modest uptick in operating margins. Avon Rubber also announced that it had delayed the launch of a new self-contained breathing apparatus for fire fighters, owing to the timing of a new safety-standard approval. Midlands commercial property investor Real Estate Investors firmed 3.2% to 52.61p after its first-half underlying profit rose on the back of higher rental income. Petra Diamonds fell 6.4% to 7.53p as it booked a deeper full-year loss, having incurred a hefty write down on the value of its gem mines. Communications and radio frequency technology group MTI Wireless Edge gained 5.2% to 31.04p after it won a contract to supply hi-Power microwave terminations to an Israeli customer. Disease and food allergy test kit supplier Omega Diagnostics fell 2.1% to 11.26p, despite announcing that the Global Fund would include its HIV testing product in its recommended global procurement list. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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