FTSE 100 falters by lunchtime

Writer, Stock Market Wire
Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 11:31

Amid a raft of corporate news, weak economic forecasts from Europe and continued volatility in sterling the FTSE 100 trades lower. Approaching midday the index was down 0.3% to 7,152.44.

Other European markets such Germany's DAX were enduring much heavier losses while US futures are pointing to material declines when trading resumes on Wall Street later.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Travel operator TUI fell 16.7% to 986.85p after warning on profit last night blaming the impact of the weak pound on the purchasing power of UK holidaymakers.

Rival Thomas Cook jumped 13.7% to 35.3p after it announced a strategic review of its airline business on Thursday and reported a £14m increase in operating loss in the first quarter of its financial year.

Housebuilder Bellway slipped 1.7% to £28.41 as it said early signs pointed toward a strong spring selling as the homebuilder sold more homes at higher prices amid ongoing demand for new housing. The company warned, however, Brexit uncertainty could hurt consumer confidence.

Catering giant Compass Group added 4.4% to £17.71 after it upgraded its full-year outlook, expecting organic growth to come in slightly above the middle of its guidance as strong levels of new business wins bolstered first-quarter revenues.

British medical equipment manufacturer Smith & Nephew climbed 2.2% to £14.93 as it posted a small increase in revenue in its full-year results on Thursday and said it did not anticipate any significant impact on its business from Brexit.

Fashion retailer Superdry edged 1.4% lower to 501.5p lower after it said in-store and online sales were "subdued" in the third quarter, due to the unseasonably warm weather and problems with its mix of products.

Insurer Beazley climbed 5.4% to 520.7p despite reporting Thursday that annual profits had more than halved as underwriting losses in its property insurance and reinsurance division offset a rise in gross premiums written.

Cranswick slumped 15.6% to £25.02 as it said Thursday revenue fell 2% over the festive period, and warned margins would come under pressure amid a 'challenging' retail backdrop.

IT services group FDM slid 2.1% to 783p as it said Thursday it had appointed David Lister as non-executive chairman with effect from 5 March 2019.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Crimson Tide leapt 6.8% to 2.78p after it announced two contract wins in the rail sector worth nearly £0.25m for the company's mpro5 service offering.

Data analytics company Ixico lost 10% to 31.5p as it announced on Thursday it had appointed Grant Nash as chief financial officer.