Belfast Telegraph

London’s top-flight stocks knocked as investors cash in on Beijing boost

The FTSE 100 was boosted on Tuesday by a stimulus package announced in China.

London’s top-flight stocks were knocked back in trading as investors banked profits after a surge on the index on Tuesday.

Stocks were lifted yesterday after the Chinese government unveiled a stimulus package designed to boost the domestic economy, with mining companies proving to be in-demand.

Traders cashed in on investments on Wednesday. The FTSE 100 closed 50.79 points lower at 7,658.26.

European stocks followed the FTSE 100 downwards, with the Cac 40 in France falling 0.3% and the Dax in Germany down by 1%.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Stocks are in the red as traders lock-in profits in the wake of yesterday’s strong session.

“Dealers await the meeting between President Trump and the European Commission’s Jean Claude Juncker.

“Mr Juncker will be on the charm offensive to try and avoid hefty tariffs being imposed on EU cars that are imported into the US.”

Oil trading was volatile at midday following the publication of data which showed that US oil stockpiles slipped.

However, in calmer late-afternoon trading Brent crude was up 0.23% at 73.852 US dollars a barrel.

The pound edged up against euro following positive sales data, rising by 0.13% to 1.126. Against the dollar, the pound was flat at 1.314.

GlaxoSmithKline’s shares edged down 14.4p to 1,542.4p after it announced a restructuring programme to slash £400 million in annual costs and bolster research spending.

The pharma giant said the savings would be delivered primarily through “supply chain optimisation” and a cut in administrative costs.

Dating series Love Island has been credited with helping boost ITV’s profits, and was praised by the broadcaster’s chief executive as a TV “phenomenon”.

Newly published data, based on the six months to June 30, showed the broadcaster’s statutory profit before tax grew to £265 million from £259 million last year. Shares rose 1.55p to 172p.

Vodafone reported a revenue hit amid woes in Italy and Spain and an ongoing price war in India, knocking shares 2.56p to 175.1p.

The mobile phones giant posted a 4.9% fall in group revenues to 10.9 billion euro (£9.7 billion) for its first quarter to June 30.

Joules’ shares were down 3p by the close to 343p, despite the retailer beating the gloom on the high street with higher-than-expected profits for the year.

Group revenue at the apparel and homeware brand was up 18.4% to £185.9 million in the year ended May 27, with underlying profit before tax surging 28.5% to £13 million from £10.1 million.

Marston’s said its brewing business and drinks-focused pubs “benefited significantly” from the World Cup, helping make up for the effect of poor weather on sales earlier in the year.

The company’s total sales across its managed and franchised pubs were up 5.2% in the half-year to July 21, helped by its pub expansion programme. However, shares fell 3.3p to 94.55p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were 3i Group up 25.4p to 946.6p, Taylor Wimpey up 3.1p to 175.35p, Barratt Developments up 7.2p to 529.2p, and Ocado up 11.5p to 1,146p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Fresnillo down 81p to 1,025p, Intercontinental Hotels Group down 237p to 4,670p, Informa down 34p to 816p and Direct Line down 8.4p to 330.9p.

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