“Markets opened cautiously as traders look to OPEC’s meeting in Vienna today, about which doubts predictably exist on whether crude cuts will be actually achieved amid the global glut. In the UK, investors will be looking to mortgage approvals, net lending and money supply data, while in US personal income and spending, and crude inventories, are among the figures to be anticipated this afternoon,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Pub group Greene King had a record first half with revenues topping £1bn for the first time. Greene King’s performance has been driven by growth in all divisions and synergy benefits from integration which have helped offset increased cost pressures, particularly from the National Live Wage. Consumer spending on eating out is ahead of last year but discretionary spending is likely to soften next year while restrictions on immigration from outside the UK will put further pressures on the hospitality industry.
“Zoopla led the FTSE250 board after full-year pre-tax profits rose to £46.2m from £33.6m. Zoopla has made a good start to the new financial year with both its property services and comparison services division performing well. Zoopla’s shares were up by over 5.9%.
“Soft drinks group Britvic’s share were up in early trading after it reported strong full-year results. Britvic continues to take market share in challenging market conditions with a particularly strong carbonates performance. Brexit and the proposed soft drinks levies in Britain and Ireland from April 2018, though, have created additional uncertainty. Britvic’s shares were up by more than 4.7%.”
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