The 10 best and worst performing FTSE 100 shares in the first quarter

Various economists and financial commentators predicted economic collapse following Brexit and Trump’s election victory, but this has not played out, with financial markets instead taking both events in their stride. 

The FTSE 100 has hit a couple of record highs, and is currently trading just above 7,300. Those who bought a tracker fund that follows the up and down fortunes of the index would have made around 15 per cent over the past year. 

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But despite enjoying a good run of form the political upheaval taking place across the world have certainly exerted influence over the FTSE 100 – creating both winners and losers in the first quarter of 2017. 

Mexican precious metals mining company Frensillo has seen the biggest share price rise out of  any FTSE 100 company. Typically viewed as  safe haven assets, gold and silver prices are flourishing as political tensions rise, while quantitative easing policies enacted by central banks across the globe in recent years have seen precious metals used as an inflation hedge. For Frensillo specifically, the comparatively weak Mexican peso has helped keep mining costs down in Mexico. All of that has contributed to an impressive 27.4 per cent share price rise. 

However, not every commodity shined in the first quarter. Oil remained stuck in a range between $50 to $55 dollars a barrel, which had a hand in both BP and Royal Dutch Shell featuring in the 10 worst performing FTSE 100 shares over the quarter. 

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Unilever also performed particularly well over the past three months. A failed takeover bid by Kraft Heinz, which valued the company at £40 a share, saw the conglomerate’s share price shoot up in February, contributing to share price growth of 19.7 per cent over the quarter. 

Meanwhile, the British high street continues to suffer as inflation remains at a high 2.3 per cent. Retailer Next (down 16.6 per cent over the quarter) has bared the brunt of the weak pound, which has fallen around 15 per cent against the dollar since last June, following the Brexit vote.  

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Elsewhere, Tesco and BT, both caught up in financial scandals, have seen share prices drop by 10.3 per cent and 13.3 per cent, respectively. 

While finally as digital continues to gain prominence in publishing, Pearson has faced huge struggles in the US education sector – where it does most of its business - leading to a share price reduction to the tune of 16.6 per cent. The firm cut its dividend in January. 

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See the full table of best and worst performing FTSE 100 shares below:

Company% price change Q1 2017
Frensillo PLC27.4
Taylor Wimpey PLC25.8
Antofagasta PLC23.6
International Consolidated Airlines Group20.0
Unilever PLC19.7
ConvaTec Group PLC19.3
Barratt Developments PLC18.2
Persimmon PLC17.9
Coca-Cola HBC AG16.4


Company% price change Q1 2017
Royal Dutch Shell PLC-7.2
Centrica PLC-7.3
Babcock International Group PLC-7.5
Mediclinic International PLC-7.7
Royal Mail PLC-8.0
BP PLC-10.2
Tesco PLC-10.3
BT Group PLC-13.3
Next PLC-13.3
Pearson PLC-16.6
Source: Hargreaves Lansdown

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