“The FTSE100 was lower in early trading ahead of today's monetary policy statement from the Bank of England, with interest rates widely expected to be kept on hold following the latest inflation figures. Asian markets were trading lower this morning, while US stocks made further progress overnight,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Fashion group Next led the blue-chip board in early trading after it weathered a difficult first half and reported sales and profits in line with its cautious forecasts. Pre-tax profits and sales were down on a year ago but investors were encouraged by the increase in Next’s directory business, which includes its catalogue and online divisions. And while the trading environment remains difficult, the group’s prospects appear to be less challenging than six months ago with price inflation set to moderate. Next’s shares were up by more than 7.9% in early trading.
“International support services and construction group Interserve’s shares plummeted after it warned its full-year results were likely to be significantly below previous forecasts. UK trading in July and August was disappointing, particularly in support services, but also in its construction division and the cost of exiting its energy from waste contracts now look set to exceed the £160m initially expected. Interserve’s shares were down by more than 49.3%
“GVC Holdings topped the FTSE250 following a 99% rise in first half adjusted after-tax profits. Progress since last year's acquisition of bwin.party has been ahead of expectations. The group’s strong performance together with the smooth integration of bwin.party presents exciting organic growth opportunities. GVC’s shares were up by over 4.9%.”
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