FTSE 100 movers: NMC Health, Unilever tank; oil shares gain

Tue 17 Dec 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,516.99 in afternoon trade on Tuesday as sterling slumped amid renewed concerns about a no-deal Brexit.
Oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP were the standout gainers, while Antofagasta was on the rise as JPMorgan lifted its price target on shares of the Chilean coper miner to 780p from 730p.

Shares of NMC Health slid after research firm Muddy Waters said it had "serious doubts" about the company's financial statements and that it had manipulated its balance sheet to understate debt. Muddy Waters, which was founded by renowned short-seller Carson Block, noted concerns about NMC's asset values, cash balance, reported profits, and reported debt levels.

Unilever was sharply lower after the consumer goods company cautioned that full-year underlying sales growth would be "slightly below" guidance of the lower half of its 3-5% multi-year range amid challenges in some of its markets.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "The company blames an economic slowdown in South Asia and tricky trading conditions in West Africa as well as continued challenges in developed markets including North America. The reality is the consumer goods giant has been struggling to deliver organic growth for some time."

Banks and housebuilders were under pressure amid no-deal Brexit worries, with Lloyds, RBS, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey all weaker.

RBS was dented by a rating downgrade at Citi, which also said that Lloyds had the most disappointing Bank of England stress test result, with drawdown under stress - post management actions - increasing by 140 basis points to 6.1%.

"This could have repercussions on target capital ratio and buybacks," Citi said. "By contrast the test was reassuring for RBS & Standard Chartered, where we expect further buybacks/specials in 2020," it added.

FTSE 100 - Risers

Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,220.50p 2.80%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,229.50p 2.48%
Ferguson (FERG) 6,844.00p 2.30%
BP (BP.) 477.90p 2.12%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 542.50p 1.97%
National Grid (NG.) 949.60p 1.78%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 950.00p 1.73%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 9,065.00p 1.45%
Halma (HLMA) 2,177.00p 1.44%
Evraz (EVR) 395.60p 1.31%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

NMC Health (NMC) 1,635.00p -36.75%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,319.00p -6.73%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 63.41p -5.71%
British Land Company (BLND) 602.60p -4.50%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,942.00p -4.08%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 250.90p -3.87%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,725.00p -3.57%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,538.00p -3.53%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 194.30p -3.43%
ITV (ITV) 151.75p -3.04%
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