The FTSE 100 closed 0.19% lower on Tuesday at 7,481.99 points along with European equity indices slipping into the red as earnings season wraps up, IG analyst Axel Rudolph writes. London's blue-chip index best performer was Coca-Cola HBC after it announced a EUR400 million share buyback, while IAG led losses after its strategic update and had fallen almost 5% by market close.

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COMPANIES NEWS:

Workspace Group Swings to Pretax Loss on Property Value Falls; Revenue Rose

Workspace Group swung to a pretax loss after property valuation losses, though trading profit and revenue rose.

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Cranswick Expects Full-Year Results at Upper End of Consensus After Pretax Profit Rose

Cranswick said it expects its fiscal 2024 results to be at the upper end of market views after pretax profit and revenue for the first half rose on positive volume momentum.

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UK Commercial Property Ends Merger Talks With Picton Property

UK Commercial Property REIT said Tuesday that it has ended merger talks with Picton Property Income after failing to get support from its largest shareholder.

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Telecom Plus Pretax Profit Rises on Customer Growth

Telecom Plus said pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2024 rose on the back of double-digit customer growth, that it remains confident of meeting full year expectations, and will launch an initial 10 million-pound ($12.5 million) share buyback in second half.

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Petershill Partners Aggregate Assets Under Management Rose

Petershill Partners said that assets under management rose and that fee-paying assets were in-line with full-year expectations.

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Knights Group Sees Higher Revenue, Underlying Pretax Profit

Knights Group Holdings said revenue and underlying pretax profit are expected to rise for the first half of its fiscal year, and that its performance in the period was in line with the board's expectations.

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AO World Lifts Expectations on Improved Profit, Margins

AO World has raised profit expectations for fiscal 2024 and reported a swing to pretax profit in first half.

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Avon Protection Swings to Pretax Loss on Impairment Charges, Declining Revenue

Avon Protection said it swung to a pretax loss in its fiscal year, mainly dragged by impairment charges and a fall in revenue.

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IAG Says It Remains Committed to Dividends, Sets out Medium-Term Targets

International Consolidated Airlines Group said that it will start paying dividends again once its balance sheet and investment plans are secure, as it set out its medium-term targets.

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Intercede Shares Surge on New Contracts, Renewals, Rise in Pretax Profit

Shares in Intercede Group rose after the company reported a rise in pretax profit for the first half of its fiscal year and said it had secured a number of new contracts and renewals.

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Empresaria Shares Fall After as Challenging Market Conditions Weigh

Empresaria Group shares fell 21% on Tuesday after the company said that the challenging market conditions experienced so far this year have continued into the fourth quarter, and are expected to remain into the first half of 2024.

MARKET TALK:

Restaurant Group Unlikely to Get More Bids, Peel Hunt Says

1124 GMT - Restaurant Group isn't expected to receive any other takeover offers, Peel Hunt analysts say in a research note. The U.K. restaurant operator--which houses brands including Wagamama, Brunning & Price and Frankie & Benny's--has been eyed by a couple of interested parties, including by asset manager Apollo Global Management's Rock Bidco. Restaurant Group and Apollo agreed an all-cash offer worth around GBP506 million in October, with accepting shareholders being paid 65 pence a share. The brokerage cuts the stock rating to hold from buy, but kept its target price at 65 pence a share. Shares are down 2.2% at 66.0 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

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Workspace Group's Large Asset Value Decline Prompts Forecast Downgrades

1115 GMT - Workspace Group has posted another large net asset value decline in its interim results, as yield increases prompt declines in property valuations, Peel Hunt says. The office-rental company's occupancy is stable and it generated impressive rental growth, but Peel Hunt cuts its fiscal 2024 net tangible asset value forecasts by around 10% to 830 pence, assuming broadly flat property valuations in the second half of the year, analysts say in a research note. "Although estimated rental value growth seems to have slowed, Workspace expects a further growth in rate and starts the second half with good momentum," the brokerage says. Shares are down 6.1% at 554.0 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

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GBP/USD Options Look Cheap, Societe Generale Says

1110 GMT - As sterling rises, options betting on it rising have barely moved and they look cheap, Societe Generale options strategist Olivier Korber says in a note. GBP/USD realized volatility--a measure of past movements--is "surging with the faster pace of dollar moves." However, GBP/USD implied volatility--which measures expected moves based on options pricing--hasn't reacted, leading to a "large negative vol risk premium." Korber advises buying a GBP/USD two-month one-touch option, with a knock-in at 1.31, a bet which would pay out if GBP/USD hit that level within two months. GBP/USD two-month implied volatility trades at 6.878%, having traded above 8% in late October, according to Refinitiv. GBP/USD rises to a 10-week high of 1.2554, according to FactSet. (jessica.fleetham@wsj.com)

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Higher UK Borrowing Won't Stop Some Autumn Budget Statement Giveaways

1103 GMT - October's public-finance figures shouldn't prevent U.K. Treasury Chief, Jeremy Hunt, from planning some tax cuts in his autumn statement on Wednesday, despite borrowing coming in higher than expected, Investec economist Ellie Henderson writes in a note. Public-sector net borrowing, excluding banks, was GBP14.9 billion in October, rising some GBP4.5 billion from the same month last year and ahead of expectations, figures show Tuesday. But with Hunt's Conservative Party eager to offer some tax cuts to voters ahead of elections due next year, and with borrowing year-to-date still running below Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts, Hunt is unlikely to see the figures as a barrier to some fiscal offerings, Henderson says."But in the absence of a 'magic money tree,' the chancellor will be constrained in his giveaways," she says. (Joshua.Kirby@dowjones.com)

 

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Dow Jones Newswires; paul.larkins@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2023 13:15 ET (18:15 GMT)

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