Wed City brief: Weir up on savings plan

Engineer Weir Group rose after delivering a better-than-expected first quarter from minerals, its largest division.

The company also said it was “taking further action to support profitability” in its oil and gas division amid tough conditions. It is planning job cuts to help towards £10 million of savings.

Barclays turned in a 9% rise in adjusted profits but the shares fell on its admission that it will need to set aside a further £800m to cover fines expected on the forex scandal.

High street retailer Next was in fashion after first-quarter sales rose 3.2%, ahead of guidance given in March. More than half of the rise came from new space, with warmer weather and an earlier brochure also helping.

The FTSE 100 finished 1.2% lower at 6,946.28, with investors extra cautious ahead of a policy statement at the Federal Reserve after the close.

This was the second straight day of +1% losses for the Footsie as the index continued to pull back from the record closing high of 7,103.98 reached on Monday.

After a slow start, markets sank into the red in the afternoon as data revealed that the US economy barely expanded at the start of the year. US gross domestic product grew by an annualised 0.2% in the first quarter, compared with the 2.2% growth seen in the fourth quarter and the 1% growth expected by analysts.


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