“The FTSE100 opened the week in negative territory following recent sideways moves on US and Asia indices, with investors looking ahead to tomorrow’s rich diary of UK inflation data and EU PMI figures for trading spurs,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Finsbury Food’s shares were flat in early trading despite it securing a licence to launch a range of Mary Berry cakes in the second half. The group’s operating profits in the 26 weeks to the end of December were up 4% but revenues were flat. The combined effect of increasing commodity prices, the adverse impact of a weaker pound and the National Living wage means the group is having to work hard to mitigate input cost inflation through continued operational efficiency. Finsbury Food’s shares were unchanged in early trading.
“Highland Gold Mining shares edged up after a scoping study confirmed the economic potential of its Unkurtash project in Kyrgyzstan. The project is situated in an area that already features operating mines and has access to paved roads, power and water supply. Highland will now look at various alternatives for proceeding with the project, including partnering with another strategic investor to co-develop Unkurtash.
“Property investor Hansteen's shares rose after the group revealed strong full year results and the agreed sale of its German and Dutch portfolios for €1.28bn. The group achieved a total annual return to shareholders of 20.8% in the year to the end of December following record like-for-like rent growth and the highest ever portfolio occupancy rate. Hansteen's shares were up by more than 3.3%.”
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