FTSE 100 -6565.80 -230.60 -3.39%
FTSE 250 -19330.92 -452.53 -2.29%
FTSE AIM -31.78 -33.07 -3.58%
The FTSE 100 closed down 3.4% on Friday, as the economic impact
of coronavirus took its toll throughout the week. According to
Chief Market Analyst at IG Chris Beauchamp, London's major stock
exchange went through its worst week since the beginning of 2010.
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, the biggest riser of the session, closed
up 3.2%, while International Consolidated Airlines Group SA lead
the fallers, decreasing as much as 8.4%.
London Stock Exchange Group 2019 Pretax Profit Fell
London Stock Exchange Group PLC said Friday that pretax profit
fell on higher costs, and that it remains on track to close its
proposed acquisition of data provider Refinitiv in the second half
of the year.
Rolls-Royce Pretax Loss Narrowed on Rising Revenue; Expects Cash
Boost in 2020
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC said Friday that its pretax loss
narrowed and underlying operating profit rose in 2019, benefiting
from higher revenue in the year.
IAG 2019 Net Profit Fell; Unable to Offer Guidance Due to
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA said Friday that
net profit in 2019 fell 40%, and given the current coronavirus
epidemic it wasn't able to give accurate profit guidance for
EasyJet to Cancel Flights, Cut Costs as Coronavirus Hits
European budget carrier easyJet PLC said Friday that it will
cancel some flights and launch cost-cutting measures as the
coronavirus outbreak has hit demand in Italy and other European
UK Consumer Confidence Continues to Rise on Hopes for a Stronger
British consumer confidence rose for a third straight month in
February, continuing an upward trend as Britons anticipate a
stronger economy now that an impasse in the Brexit process has been
AFC Energy Shares Fall Despite Narrowed Pretax Loss for FY
Shares in AFC Energy PLC fell as much as 15% on Friday despite
the company reporting a narrowed pretax loss for fiscal 2019.
Benchmark Holdings 1Q Loss Widened on Falling Revenue
Shares in Benchmark Holdings PLC fell on Friday after the
company reported continued losses for the first quarter of fiscal
2020 due to market weakness in its advanced nutrition business.
ConvaTec Group 2019 Pretax Profit Hit by Write-Downs,
ConvaTec Group PLC said Friday that pretax profit for 2019
plunged, hit by value write-downs on the company's assets,
transformation investments and adverse foreign-exchange
EN+ Group Aluminum Sales Up in 2019
EN+ Group International PJSC said Friday that aluminum sales
rose in 2019 despite unchanged production from the previous
Eden Research Shares Fall on Discounted GBP10.1 Mln Raising
Shares of Eden Research PLC fell Friday after it said that it
has raised GBP10.1 million via a discounted share placing and
subscription, which it will use to fund product development and
Foxtons Group 2019 Pretax Loss Narrowed on Cost-Cutting
Foxtons Group PLC said Friday that it had narrowed its pretax
loss in 2019 despite falling revenue, thanks to cost-cutting
measures implemented to deal with the challenging market.
Man Group 2019 Adjusted Pretax Profit Rose Significantly
Man Group PLC said Friday that adjusted pretax profit for 2019
rose by more than 50%, driven by higher performance fees and seed
investment gains in the year and a rebound in equity markets.
St. James House's Improving Business to Heal Funding
St. James House PLC said on Friday that both its payments and
lottery divisions are growing, which will alleviate working capital
Shell Midstream Partners to Buy Stake in Mattox Pipeline,
Eliminate Incentive Distribution Rights
Shell Midstream Partners LP has agreed to buy Royal Dutch Shell
PLC's 79% interest in Mattox Pipeline Co., which owns the Mattox
pipeline, and certain logistics assets at the Shell Norco
U.K. Regulator Set to Crack Down on Leasehold Housing Sector
The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority said Friday that it
has found "troubling evidence" of potential misselling and unfair
contract terms in the leasehold housing sector, and that it is
ready to launch enforcement action.
Chemring to Report Upbeat Start to Year
1412 GMT - Defense group Chemring is tipped to report a good
start to 2019-20 in a first-quarter update on March 4. Peel Hunt
says the new management of the company, which makes flares and
other military countermeasures, has made a lot of progress in
improving the underlying quality of the business and the balance
sheet is in good shape again. "We expect FY20 to have started well,
and with the business in better shape, we sense management will
start to focus more on business and product development," Peel's
Henry Carver says, reiterating the brokerage's add
Ashtead Shares Risk Exposure to Economic Turbulence
1319 GMT - Ashtead Group's shares look vulnerable to economic
volatility, AJ Bell says ahead of the company's third-quarter
results on March 3. Despite concerns over a global economic
slowdown, AJ Bell points to a rally in the construction-equipment
rental company's shares over the last year, as investors held out
hopes that US interest-rate cuts and a trade deal between
Washington and Beijing would provide fresh impetus in 2020.
Commentary suggesting that the fall in purchasing managers' index
data may be bottoming out has also buoyed the mood. However,
"investors had better be right because if they're wrong and a
slowdown or recession comes around the corner, that could leave
Ashtead's shares pretty exposed," AJ Bell's Russ Mould says.
United Utilities Shares Look Generously Priced
1245 GMT - United Utilities Group shares are closing in on their
peak valuation, says Credit Suisse, cutting its recommendation on
the water-and-waste group to neutral from outperform. Shares are up
32% on a total return basis since September as political and
regulatory risks are perceived to have passed, the Swiss brokerage
says. "We see the shares price in generous assumptions on returns
in the forthcoming price control, covering April 2020 to March
2025. We raise our price target to 920 pence per share," analyst
Mark Freshney says. Shares fall 3.3% to 945 pence.
Rightmove's Annual Results Don't Justify Share Price
1216 GMT - Rightmove's full-year financials are in line with
expectations, but there are some niggles, says Barclays. The
brokerage believes the shares are too expensive and that the
company will struggle to achieve more than 4-5% organic growth in
2020. The market is giving a major benefit of the doubt that growth
will accelerate in outer years. "Overall we don't think these
results are strong--and don't merit the run the shares have had,"
Barclays analysts say. "We see much more attractive opportunities
in EU internet." Barclays has an under-weight/positive
recommendation and 500 pence price target on the shares, which fall
4.2% to 608 pence.
WPP Likely to Deliver North America Sales Improvement in
1210 GMT - WPP is likely to deliver an improvement in organic
net sales in North America this year, following years of declines,
Morningstar says. The London-based advertising giant expects flat
growth in 2020 as one more quarter remains for its big account
losses to cycle through, Morningstar says. Weakness in U.S.
consumer-packaged goods spending continued in the fourth quarter of
2019, but there are signs this is subsiding and demand for WPP's
creativity services in other industries did strengthen, Morningstar
Rightmove Customer Decline to Continue in Short-Term
1142 GMT - Rightmove shares fall 4.1% to 609 pence after the
property-website group said it expected customer numbers to
continue to drop in the first half. Rightmove said increased
activity following December's U.K. general election may take some
months to feed through to the cash flow of its smallest customers
and it therefore expects a continuation of the second-half 2019
trend of declining agency branch numbers in the short term.
"Overall we make no changes to forecasts, as guidance overall is
consistent with expectations," Peel Hunt analysts say. "We maintain
our reduce recommendation and 570 pence target price."
IAG's Uncertain 2020 Outlook Worries Investors
1140 GMT - IAG's outlook for 2020 is uncertain as the
coronavirus spreads and investors worry, says Bernstein. The U.S.
brokerage says it continues to like IAG's equity story in the long
term, and that it is confident that a downturn would reveal the
strength of its model. However, for investors to take a position in
the shares now they need to be confident in the overall global
macro outlook, and the future path of the coronavirus outbreak,
both of which are out of the company's control. Bernstein has an
outperform rating on the stock and a 700 pence target price. Shares
are down 3% at 499.50 pence.
Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires;
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 28, 2020 12:20 ET (17:20 GMT)
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