Add Elementis to the long list of companies that have suffered because of the falling price of oil. Shares in the speciality chemicals firm slumped 17 per cent to 257.6p after it issued a profits warning.
The FTSE 250 group blamed the oil sector’s slump in the US for much of its troubles, with sales of its additives used in drilling expected to be at least 30 per cent lower than last year. To make matters worse, demand in China for coatings additives has also weakened.
“The cumulative impact of short term issues … is that earnings per share for the full year are anticipated to be below the current range of market expectations,” Elementis said.
JPMorgan Cazenove downgraded the stock to neutral and the price slump wiped out the gains made since the start of the year.
The FTSE 100 rose 9.93 points to 6,844.8 with hopes still high of a resolution for Greece’s debts.
Sage, down 33p to 516p, spooked investors with cautious growth targets. The software group said revenues will grow at a steady 6 per cent for the next two to three years.
Investors stocked up on supermarket shares with the buzz coming from the $29bn merger of the Netherlands’ Ahold and Belgium’s Delhaize to take on Wal-Mart in the US.
Sainsbury’s, up 6.3p to 275.5p, and Morrisons, up 4.7p to 184.5p, were among the top blue chip risers.
Chip-maker Arm Holdings dipped 12p to 1,125p after Liberum Capital suggested Apple, its main customer, could soon stop using its technology.
ITV continued its spending spree, buying 75 per cent of Twofour, the production company behind Educating Yorkshire and The Hotel Inspector, for £55m. ITV has an option to buy the remaining 25 per cent further down the line.
AIM-listed oil explorer 88 Energy leapt 18 per cent to 0.86p as it secured a $50m loan from Bank of America to fund Icewine, its Alaskan project.
Nostra Terra Oil & Gas, down 3 per cent at 0.165p, signed up Kristian Ewen Ainsworth as its new chairman, while UK Oil & Gas said it had made a loss of £383,000 for the six months to the end of March.