Investors appear to be holding fire ahead of tomorrow’s call on UK interest rates rather than taking their cue from strong gains in the US and Asia overnight with the FTSE 100 down 0.26% at 6,663.24.
Housebuilders post modest falls as Barratt Developments (BDEV) posts a positive pre-close update but sounds a downbeat tone on Brexit noting ‘the immediate outlook for our industry is less clear and it is too early to draw any conclusions regarding market conditions from the short trading period since the referendum’. Its shares fall 1.6% to 406.7p.
Having seen substantial gains earlier this week on the news Marco Gobbetti is set to replace Christopher Bailey as chief executive in 2017, Burberry (BRBY) is up 3.5% to £12.45 as first quarter numbers come in better than feared. They show a 3% fall in like-for-like sales and flat retail revenues of £423 million.
Discount retail outfit Poundland (PLND) is up 12.1% to 220p as its board recommends a cash offer of 222p from South African furniture specialist Steinhoff. The company, in news which may have been lost in the post-referendum tumult, previously rebuffed an undisclosed offer from its suitor on 24 June.
Gambling software firm Playtech (PTEC) gains 6.1% to 866p as it announces the €138 million acquisition of Vienna-headquartered peer Bet Gaming Technology. The latter specializes in software for self-service betting terminals which are one of the biggest growth areas for betting firms.
Equipment and tool rental business Speedy Hire (SDY) gains 8.8% to 34p as it says early progress with its recovery plan provides ‘the platform for full year results to be slightly ahead of the board’s previous expectations’ and notes there has been no deterioration in trading since the EU referendum.
Private jet specialist Gama Aviation (GMAA:AIM) has scrapped acquisition plans temporarily, saying its share price is too low to warrant issuing equity to fund corporate deals. It also says a challenging trading environment in Europe is unlikely to improve near term. The market is disappointed, sending the shares down 6.8% to 157.5p.
Institutional broker ICAP (IAP) advances 2.8% to 464.9p as it signals a benefit from a trading surge around the UK vote to leave the EU and confirms its tie-up with Tullet Prebon is on track to complete later in 2016. The remaining chunk will be renamed NEX Group as we discussed here when adding the company to our Plays portfolio.
Drug company Allergy Therapeutics (AGY:AIM) reports revenue for its financial year to 30 June will be slightly ahead of expectations at £48.5 million thanks to market share gains. The news prompts an 8.2% rise to 20.55p.