London shares creep a fraction higher in early trade on Thursday as investors sigh with relief as inflation risks diminish. The market had feared an early interest rate hike but these worries seem to have been over-egged. The benchmark FTSE 100 stays roughly flat at 6,671, showing a very modest 6 points improvement, moves largely matched by both the midcaps FTSE 250 index and the wider market FTSE All-Share.
European stocks do better, with stronger rises posted by France's CAC 40, Germany's Xetra Dax and the IBEX 35 in Spain.
In corporate news, shares in newspaper publisher Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) dive 10.7% to 829.5p as it reveals results for the 12 months to 30 September will be at the lower end of market expectations due to a ‘marked deterioration in the UK print advertising market’. Read Shares web exclusive story here.
Select utility stocks gain behind Severn Trent (SVT), up 0.8% to £21.45, although not big six energy supplier SSE (SSE). It's stock slumps more than 4% to £15.13p as the group anticipates lower energy-supply business profits this year, prompting management to restate full year EPS guidance to 'at least 115p a share.'
Around 30% of blue chips lose ground on Thursday led by fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN). It heads the Footsie loser board, down nearly 7% to 372p, as it reveals assets under management (AuM) had declined to £307.3 billion at the end of June due to market conditions and forex movements.
Among the bigger movers, Mothercare (MTC) crashes close on 7% 267.75p as investors reveal themselves to be unimpressed with current trading. While the company says, in an update covering the 15 weeks to July 11, that overall trading is in line with expectations, investors may have been hoping for positive noises about a return to the dividend list, which are notably absent.
Life science research tools provider Abcam’s (ABC:AIM) 12% sales growth in the year to June 30 lifts its shares 5.3% higher to 546.2p. Analysts believe this could mean revenues of around £143 million. Prelims are expected on September 14.
Elsewhere, shares in boutique hostel Safestay (SSTY:AIM) have been suspended on news it's acquiring a large hostel in the UK for £14.9 million, which will be treated as a reverse takeover. The group is also buying an aparthotel in Milan for £6.3 million via special purpose vehicle. Safestay's trading update shows revenue growth of 5.5% and EBITDA growth of 20% at its Elephant & Castle hostel, but its York hostel is behind pre-opening expectations.
Hay fever vaccine developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY:AIM) advances 5.4% to 24.1p on revenues growing 11% to £46.6 million in the year to the end of June as demand for its short course aluminium free treatments lifts market share by 1%.
Rising losses at Angle (AGL:AIM) sends the cancer diagnostic developer 6.4% lower to 87p. The medical technology company moved further into the red at £3.9 million in the end of April compared to £2.2 million a year ago on rising R&D spend.