FTSE 250 falls amid mixed outlook on May

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The FTSE 250 was dragged into negative territory and the FTSE 100 was flat at 6,686.68 on Theresa May’s first day as Prime Minister.

Barratt Developments’ (BDEV) cautious outlook after the EU referendum had a knock-on effect on other housing stocks, including Berkeley (BKG) and Taylor Wimpey (TW.), which fell up to 2.7%.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped 1.1% to $46.26 and Brent crude oil slid 1.5% to $47.75 per barrel, respectively.

Gold glittered at $1,341.5 per ounce and copper rose 1.3% to $4,938.43 per tonne.

MAIN NEWS OF THE DAY

Luxury fashion designer Burberry (BRBY) said it benefitted from a weaker pound in its first financial quarter and like-for-like sales fell than expected, helping the shares advance 84p to 1,287p.

Cheap pub chain Wetherspoon (JDW) reported a pick-up in trading post-Brexit, gaining 2.5% to 761.5p.

MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Gambling software firm Playtech (PTEC) announced a €138 million acquisition of Bet Gaming Technology in a bid to boost its software offering for self-service betting terminals, pushing it 4.6% higher to 854p.

Institutional broker ICAP (IAP) nudged 2.3p higher to 454.7p after benefitting from a surge in trading around the EU referendum and plans to tie-up with Tullet Prebon, which will be completed later this year. The remaining chunk should be renamed NEX Group.

Housebuilder Barratt Development (BDEV) delivered a relatively positive pre-close update but was downbeat on the outlook post-Brexit, dropping 6.2p to 407.2p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Stack them high and sell them cheap chain Poundland’s (PLND) board recommend a cash offer of 222p from South African furniture specialist Steinhoff after rejecting a previous offer last month. Investors were pleased with the development, triggering a rise of 12.6% to 220.7p.

Equipment rental company Speedy Hire (SDY) provided investors with good news as early progress with its recovery plan means full-year results will beat previous expectations. It reported no deterioration in trading after the EU referendum, gaining 8% to 33.7p.

Community care property partner Ashley House (ASH) swung from a loss to a profit in the year to April, driven by an increase in revenues of 147%, prompting investors to market the shares up 7.7% to 8p.

The market was disappointed when private jet specialist Gama Aviation (GMAA) scrapped acquisition plans temporarily, stating its share price was too low to use issuing equity to find corporate deals. Shares were stable at 170p after an earlier dip of 6.8%.

Drug company Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) received a shot in the arm after reporting revenue will be ahead of expectations in the year to 30 June due to marker share gains, climbing 4.1% to 19.7p.

Inkjet printing technology group Xaar (XAR) reported trading in the first half of 2016 met expectations and expects to report revenues of £44 million, gaining 5% to 486.2p.

e-gaming operator GVC (GVC) said its net gaming revenue grew, which was supported by the acquisition of bwin.party and the Euros 2016, advancing 3.1% to 633p as its gamble paid off.

Blancco Technology (BLTG) said its revenues increased by nearly 50% over the year to 30 June, driven by an expansion into mobile and live environment erasure products, pushing it 22.9p higher to 211.4p.

Communications solutions provider Manx Telecom (MANX) posted lower revenue levels in its data centre business as a result of a decline in low margin kit sales and less data centre usage, sliding 0.7p to 1935.8p.

The market liked TP’s (TPG) positive trading update that reported positive momentum in the first half of the year as shares were up 9.1% to 4.5p.