Latest market news

FTSE 100 drops 1% by midday after selling in the US and Asia overnight

The FTSE 100 was down a little more than 1% to 7,504.35 after weak trading sessions in Asia and the US overnight amid concern over the impact of rising interest rates.

Retail sales fell by 3.7% in December 2021, the Office for National Statistics reported, well below expectations for a 0.6% drop.

Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group rose 0.6% to 100.6p after upgrading its outlook on profitability as 'strong' trading and cost cuts bolstered performance.

The company said it now expected the group's fiscal 2021 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation, or EBITDA, would be at the top end of the range and fiscal 2021 year-end net debt would be less than £180 million.

Printing and laundry-equipment company Photo-Me International rose 0.76% to 76.18p after its chief executive Serge Crasnianski had tabled a mandatory £283.5 million takeover for the company after increasing his stake in the company to 36.5%.

Arts and crafts retailer The Works rose 11.5% to 61.4p after said it was weighing up the option of resuming dividend payments after upgrading its outlook on performance amid narrower first-half losses.

'The board proposes to recommend a final dividend for FY22, if the preliminary results to be published in late July 2022 are in line with the the upgraded forecast.

Shares in gaming technology firm Playtech fell 15% to 620p after The Eddie Jordan Family office and Keith O'Loughlin announce that they didn't intend to make an offer for company.

Following the announcement, Playtech advised shareholders vote in favour of the offer from Aristocrat Leisure at the court meeting and in favour of the Playtech Resolutions to be proposed at the general meeting, scheduled for 2 February 2022.

Advertising agency M&C Saatchi fell 5% to 184.84p after receiving notification that the Financial Conduct Authority had ended its probe of the company and that no enforcement action would be taken.

The company also provided a trading update, forecasting headline pre-tax profit to be 'materially ahead' of its previous expectations.

Promotional products marketer 4imprint rose 1.1% to £26.60 after saying it expected annual profit within the top end of the range of market expectations following an increase in revenue amid an ongoing recovery.

Pre-tax profit was expected to be towards the upper end of the range of analysts' forecasts, the company said.

Close Brothers fell 2.1% to £13.20 even as it reported 'good' loan book growth at strong margins in banking and continued growth momentum in its asset management business easing the impact of moderating income at its winterflood division.