FTSE opens up 0.1% as investors eye crucial Brexit, US-China trade talks

Writer, Stock Market Wire
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 08:53

UK stocks opened modestly higher on Tuesday as investors braced for the outcome of crucial Brexit and US-China trade negotiations taking place separately this week.

At 0843, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 8.08 points, or 0.1%, at 7.221.53.

Homebuilder Bellway fell 6.2% to 3,277p, even as reported a 3.4% rise in annual profit buoyed by higher unit sales and house prices.

The company, however, warned of margin pressure in the current financial year amid a rise in costs.

Recruitment company Hays gained 8.6% to 156p after it eked out a 1% rise in first-quarter net fee revenue thanks to a strong showing in the US and Asia.

Pub company Marston's dropped 9.8% to 110p as it warned of a fall in annual underlying profit and a flat result for the current financial year owing to increased spending on its properties.

Drug company Indivior rallied 13% to 55.84 on upgrading its full-year profit outlook, as sales of its opioid addiction treatment fared better than expected despite competition from generics.

Molten metal flow engineering and technology group Vesuvius shed 8.8% to 379.6p, as it warned of a fall in annual earnings amid a challenging trading environment.

Bingo company Rank rose 1.1% to 201p on announcing that its net gaming revenue rose 9% in the first quarter, led by strong sales at its Grosvenor casino business.

Metrology and healthcare technology group Renishaw slid 7.1% to 3,308p as its profits fall sharply in the first quarter, due to lower order numbers and a challenging macroeconomic environment.

Patent law firm Murgitroyd fell 1.4% to 665.55, as it confirmed that it was was in advanced discussions regarding a potential takeover of the company by Sovereign Capital Partners, pitched at 675p per share.

The company's share price had already rallied previously in anticipation of a deal.

Consultancy firm Science Group added 0.8% to 194p, despite warning that the annual performance at recently-acquired business Frontier Smart Technologies would be lower than it had expected.

Luxury furniture and interior design company Walker Greenbank firmed 0.3% to 74.7, as it booked a 10% fall in first-half profit owing one-off acquisition and restructuring costs.

Sales and underlying profit both rose, though the company cut its dividend.

Building services provider Northern Bear gained 2.8% to 70.9, even as it warned of a fall in first-half earnings.

The company, however, also said it experiencing improved trading conditions in the second quarter. At 8:53am:

(LON:BWY) Bellway PLC share price was -194p at 3298p

(LON:HAS) Hays PLC share price was +8.4p at 152.1p

(LON:INDV) Indivior Plc share price was +6.09p at 55.48p

(LON:MARS) Marstons PLC share price was -11.6p at 110.4p

(LON:VSVS) Vesuvius share price was -44p at 372.4p