FTSE off to quiet start as Brexit outcome remains elusive

Writer, Stock Market Wire
Monday, February 4, 2019 - 09:07

UK stocks opened modestly higher on Monday after the release of positive US jobs data on Friday, as investors awaited more developments in Brexit negotiations and US-China trade talks.

At 0900, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 7.09 points, or 0.1%, at 7.027,31.

Ryanair descended 4.4% after it swung to a third-quarter loss, as lower ticket prices weighed. The budget carrier also announced that chief executive Michael O'Leary had extended his contract by another five years.

Regional carrier Flybe went in the opposite direction, rallying 9.4%, as the ex-CEO of Stobart, Andrew Tinkler, proposed an alternative financing proposal to Virgin Atlantic and Stobart's current takeover bid.

Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air, meanwhile, said it flew 10% more passengers during the month of January on-year, as it added new routes to Macedonia, Romania and Albania. Its shares eased back 0.1%.

Mining company Ferrexpo dropped 7.6% after announcing that it was probing payments made to a charity, potentially delaying the release of its results.

Pharmaceutical group Indivior said it had agreed to sell its rights to a Chinese opioid addiction treatment to Pukang for up to $122.5m. Its shares reversed 0.6%.

Security and other services supplier Serco sealed a A$1.01bn (£560m) contract with Bupa to provide services to Australia's defence forces. Its shares were unchanged.

Sensor systems supplier Transense Technologies jumped 17% on news licensee GE had been selected by the US Army to provide new engines for its Boeing AH-64 Apaches and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks.

Telematics and data supplier Trakm8 dropped 5.8% as it warned of an up to 35% fall in annual revenue, blaming delayed orders in its fleet division owing to Brexit uncertainty.