“The FTSE100 built on yesterday's steady gains, boosted by another record close on Wall Street after minutes from the Fed showed the committee voted to increase the benchmark interest rate to 1.5% from 1.25%,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“High Street giant Debenhams’ shares plunged following lacklustre trading figures in the run-up to Christmas and a poor start to its post-Christmas sale. The market remains volatile and fiercely competitive and Debenhams responded with markdowns, particularly in the highly seasonal ‘gift’ category, which will have an inevitable impact on profit performance. Debenhams’ shares were down by more than 19.8% in early trading.
“Urban regeneration and strategic land specialist MJ Gleeson’s shares edged higher after it maintained its full year guidance. The group expects first half profits to exceed last time despite a lower contribution from its strategic land division. Gleeson Homes completed the sale of 593 units, an increase of 31% on the previous half-year's total. Gleeson’s shares were up by over 0.6%.
“Costain was up in early trading following a bullish update. The group maintained its order book at £3.9bn in 2017 and is on track to meet full year forecasts. Costain aims to become the UK's leading smart infrastructure solutions company and differentiate itself by providing the rapidly changing range of integrated services required by major clients. Costain’s shares were up by 0.7%.”
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