Strong results from BP boost FTSE
Oil giant BP (BP.) announced profit increased to $1,593m in the first half of 2017, up from a loss of $2,002m in the same period last year.
The strong results prompted a rally in BP of 3.4% to 460.8p, helping the FTSE 100 gain positive momentum as BP is one of the biggest in terms of market cap in the index.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.7% higher at 7,424, which was also supported by other positive corporate news.
Brent crude oil advanced 0.2% to $52.82 per barrel. Gold glittered at $1,269 per ounce and copper nudged higher to $6,371 per tonne.
FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS
The biggest blue-chip riser was Intertek (ITRK), up 7.2% to £46.11, after operating profit rose 10.1% to £223.9m thanks to strong earnings and cash performance in the first half of the year.
A solid performance at British Gas owner Centrica (CNA) helped to boost first half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by 2% to £1,293m. Centrica was up 2.7% to 203.8p.
UK supermarket Morrisons (MRW) agreed to supply McColl's Retail's (MCLS) 1,300 convenience stores and 350 newsagents. While Morrisons was flat at 242.5p, shares in McColl's bounced 5.7% to 246.7p.
It was a strong start to 2017 for Rolls-Royce (RR.) after the engineering firm announced profit before tax of £1,941m, up from a loss of £2,150m in 2016. Shares in the firm rose 6.9% to 949p.
In the housebuilding sector, Taylor Wimpey (TW.) said trading through the first half of 2017 was very positive, supported by favourable UK housing market fundamentals and good customer confidence. Investors were pleased with the upbeat update as the stock increased 1.5% to 193.3p.
FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS
Sausage roll seller Greggs (GRG) warned it 'remains alert' to pressures building on consumers' disposable income and continuing economic uncertainty. The stock retreated 0.3% to £10.96.
Chemicals firm Elementis (ELM) was up 1.3% to 300.2p thanks to operating profit growth across the business.
Aviation services provider BBA Aviation (BBA) said pre-tax profits jumped to $143.3m in the six months to the end of June 2017, up from £119.4m, helping the stock tick 2.3% higher to 306.7p.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) announced that all necessary regulatory permits were in place to commence flow testing at its 100% owned Broadford Bridge-1 exploration well located in licence PEDL234. The market was excited by the news as the stock soared 22% to 7.3p.
Going in the opposite direction was Real Good Food (RGD). The food business said EBITDA is anticipated to be approximately £2.3m lower than previously expected, causing its share price to plummet by 40% to 20.9p.