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FTSE steadies as US opens higher despite Trump aggression

President Donald Trump may still be sounding a belligerent tone towards North Korea but the FTSE 100 actually recovered a modest amount of ground this afternoon as US stocks opened higher. At the close the FTSE was down 1.1% at 7,309.96.

Commodities stocks remained under the cosh with Anglo American (AAL) down 3.7% at £12.22 and Antofagasta (ANTO) down 2.9% at 911p.


The S&P 500 opened a bit higher on Friday afternoon as bargain hunters swooped for tech and financial companies hit by the recent sell off. Asian markets closed firmly in the red overnight with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong down more than 2% on the rising geo-political tensions.


FTSE 100 investment and banking company Old Mutual (OML) pared earlier gains to trade down 2.7% to 196.1p as it reported a 37% increase in adjusted operating profit in the six months to 30 June. Pre-tax profits enjoy a 76% hike to £940m due in part to the sale of its asset management business.

The company raised its interim dividend by 32% to 5.53p in line with its capital management policy. Its adjusted operating profit earnings per share is up 33% to 10.6p on year on year basis.


Retailer Dixons Carphone (DC.) was among the biggest mid cap fallers, down 7% at 246.9p, amid a sea of red after analysts at Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to underperform.


Engineered electronics company TT Electronics (TTG) shares traded down 1% to 215.25p despite it reporting strong numbers for its first half to 30 June. Operating profit is up 31% to 10.9m on a year on year basis and its earnings per share doubles to 4.6p in the same time period. The company has proposed the sale of its transportation division which CEO Richard Tyson hopes will make the company a 'higher margin, higher quality business.

Highlands Natural Resources (HNR:AIM) shares gained 4.4% to 21.8p after it announces its starting drilling at its shale oil and gas project in Colorado.

On the AIM market, health and safety consultancy PHSC (PHSC:AIM) shares reverse earlier losses to trade 12.8% higher at 12.57p. The company's final results for year ending 31 March, showed an underlying earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation loss of £0.1m, compared to a profit of £0.4m for 2016. The company also reported a loss per share of 4.92p compared with a 2016 loss per share of 3.23p.

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