“Blue-chips opened in negative territory as global market sentiment remains mixed and with traders awaiting UK employment and wage data,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Galliford Try was an early riser on the back of a strong underlying performance in the year to the end of June. One-off costs relating to legacy contracts in its construction business depressed the group’s reported figures but the underlying portfolio of newer contracts is performing well. The group remains cautious about the impact of current political uncertainty and the medium-term outlook for the macro economy but confidence in its strong underlying performance is reflected in a proposed 17% increase in its full-year dividend. Galliford Try’s shares were up by 1.1%.
“Homewares retailer Dunelm’s shares were up in early trading after it increased sales in the year to the beginning of July despite challenging and subdued markets. The trading climate looks set to remain challenging as the disposable income of consumers comes under increasing pressure but Dunelm has made an encouraging start to its new financial year with like-for-like sales for the first two months boosted by favourable weather comparatives. Dunelm’s shares were up by more than 4.2%.
“Billing Services Group's shares slumped following a fall in first half revenues and earnings and warned of challenging times ahead. The group began a strategic review in 2016 to assist the board in determine the future composition of the group, including its capital structure and business lines. This is still ongoing and no decisions have yet been made. Billing Services Group's shares were down by mover 7.6% in early trading.”
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