“Blue-chips edged lower in early trading following gains on Wall Street and a mixed performance in Asia with traders looking to unemployment-related data in the UK and latest building permit and housing starts in the US,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Mining and energy giants have been hit hard by the fall in commodity prices in recent years but BHP Billiton is seeing early signs of markets rebalancing. The group has maintained its production and unit cost guidance for the 2017 financial year and says fundamentals suggest both oil and gas markets will improve over the next 12 to 18 months. The group’s shares were down by 0.7% in early trading.
“London estate agent Foxtons continues to feel the effects of the Brexit vote with sales revenues down by a third in the three months to the end of September. Tight cost control has improved margins and the group expects full year results to be in line with forecasts. It believes the long term fundamentals of the London property market remain attractive and represent a huge opportunity for growth. Foxtons’ shares were up by more than 5.8%.
“Increasing demand for hedonistic chocolate boosted Hotel Chocolat’s full-year pre-tax profits from £2.9m to £8.2m. Plans for the peak winter season are well set with the group confident its Christmas ranges will be its best ever as customers continue to appreciate its ‘more cocoa, less sugar’ approach.”
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