StockMarketWire | 21/04/2017 - 22:20
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New research suggested oil giant BP's (BP.) Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 caused $17.2bn of damage to natural resources.

Partly as a result of these negative headlines, the stock, which is among the biggest on the FTSE, fell 1.2% to 441.4p and helped pushed the blue-chip index 0.1% lower to 7,114.

UK consumers were feeling the pinch as retail sales declined by 1.4% in the first three months of 2017. The disappointing figures were blamed on rising prices.

Brent crude oil slid 2% to $52 per barrel, while copper was 0.4% down to $5,577 per tonne.

Gold was the only commodity to rise as it gained 0.2% to $1,284 per ounce.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Weaker oil prices and caution ahead of the French elections dragged on US equities as the S&P 500 was 0.1% lower after trading commenced on Friday.

In Japan, the steel sector flourished despite Trump ordering a probe into imports of the metal. The index closed 1% higher on Friday, while the Hang Seng and SSE Composite were flat.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group (RTN) announced chief financial officer Barry Nightingale would step down from the board and leave the company with immediate effect. A successor had yet to be appointed.

Nurofen and Durex products seller Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) achieved in line first quarter results in challenging macro conditions, but this failed to excite the market as the stock fell 1.2% to £71.88.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Engineer WS Atkins (ATK) agreed terms of a recommended all-cash acquisition by SNC-Lavalin. Each Atkins shareholder would receive £20.80 in cash per share, valuing its market cap at £2.1bn. The market approved of the deal as Atkins sparked 4.6% higher to £20.73.

Mike Ashley expanded his Sports Direct (SPD) empire into the US with a $101m acquisition of Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Stores. The market overlooked the news as the stock retreated 2.2% to 308p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Payments platform MySQUAR (MYSQ) soared 20% to 1.6p after announcing Imperium acquired 30 million shares in the company, representing a 7.6% stake.

Broker Bank of America Merrill Lynch double upgraded Gem Diamonds (GEMD) to 'buy', but this failed to significantly move the stock at 88.5p.

There was disappointing news for pharma firm Vernalis (VER) as it received a complete response letter from the US Food and Drug Administration.

It did not raise concerns with the formulation or pharmacokinetic profile of CCP-07, but identified outstanding items that needed to be addressed prior to approval.

Currency management services firm Record (REC) fell 14.3% to 40.2p as its assets under management equivalents rose to $58.2bn in March, up from $56.6bn at the end of 2016.

Management was not confident in its outlook as it said the environment of political uncertainty that has prevailed since the middle of 2016 looks set to continue.

New management at BNN Technology (BNN) caused the shares to rally 15% to 78p. The company appointed Harry Keiley as non-executive chairman and established an advisory panel.