“The FTSE100 opened in negative territory as Brexit negotiations remained in deadlock, with mixed messages coming out of Europe and the UK on the pace of progress and current status of trade talks,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Engineering group GKN was the biggest blue-chip faller after warning that full-year profit growth will be slowed by two unexpected claims and continuing operational challenges at its aerospace arm in North America. The claims relate to GKN Aerospace and GKN Driveline and are expected to result in a charge of around £40m in the fourth quarter. GKN achieved good organic sales growth in the third quarter although recent margin performance has been below forecasts. GKN’s shares were down by more than 9.1% in early trading.
“Sub-prime lender Provident Financial’s shares jumped after it revealed that a recovery plan for its home credit lending business was starting to bring results. The group’s shares plunged after significant disruption followed the introduction of a new model in July which saw 2,500 full-time customer experience managers replace 4,500 self-employed agents. Provident Financial has now put in a new structure to re-establish relationships with its 500,000 customers and will re-employ at least 300 of the former self-employed agents. Provident Financial’s shares were up by over 9.9%.
“Angus Energy was an early riser after it confirmed that it was set to start production from the Lidsey-X2 well at the southern edge of the Weald Basin, near Bognor Regis. The well has been drilled on time and on budget and company has upgraded the surface facilities at Lidsey to efficiently and safely manage all future production. Angus Energy’s shares were up by more than 5.3%.”
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