UK shares begin the day firmly lower, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street and as traders monitor the first US airstrikes in Syria. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index falls 70 points to 6,703.
Pharma shares add their weight to the negative spin, AstraZeneca (AZN) and Shire (SHP) leading the Footsie fallers as the US Treasury moves to make it more difficult for US companies to redomicile abroad to cut tax.
But the biggest blow of the day arguably comes at sweeteners giant Tate & Lyle (TATE), which tumbles almost 17% to 609.25p as CEO Javed Ahmed is forced to issue another profits warning. A first-half trading update flags interim and full-year earnings disappointment, caused by supply chain disruption and pricing pressure for its higher margin 'SPLENDA Sucralose' sweeteners.
Struggling mother and baby products specialist Mothercare (MTC) is marked down 12.6% to 217p after announcing a discounted £100 million rights issue. The fundraising will help pay down debt and strengthen its finances as new CEO Mark Newton-Jones seeks to turnaround the UK business and transform Mothercare into a digitally-led business.
Luxury shoe chain Jimmy Choo confirms its intention to float on the main market. Founded by Tamara Mellon and Jimmy Choo in 1996, the brand operates in one of the fastest growing parts of the luxury market and has generated strong sales growth, margin expansion and cash generation under the ownership of JAB Luxury, which acquired the business in 2011.
Also planning to join the main market is Miller Homes. The UK housebuilder hopes the to raise around £140 million by floating at least 40% of the company next month.
Ailing supermarkets titan Tesco (TSCO) cheapens another 4.7p to 198.3p following yesterday's disastrous accounting gaffe, its third profits warning in as many months. With the grocer engulfed in turmoil, former Marks & Spencer (MKS) numbers man Alan Stewart's starting date as finance director is brought forward with immediate effect, getting his calculator out today.
Breakdown and insurance business AA (AA.) opens 1.8% higher at 197p as it unveils maiden interim results. Revenue was up marginally at £492 million although operating profit falls 11.7% to £148.5 million.
Consumer product repair provider Regenersis (RGS:AIM) plunges after full year results disappoint. Investors are concerned about £5 million of acquisition costs, some of which are related to April's £49.6 million purchase of Blancco. There's also £4.4 million of restructuring charges against its advanced solutions division. The stock dives 65p, or 20%, to 260p.
Stockbroker Panmure Gordon (PMR:AIM) is the latest to report that the continuing surge of initial public offerings as well as corporate fundraising is helping profits. In the six months to end-June, commission and trading income increased 26% to £5.4 million. Management reported an ‘encouraging pipeline’ in its outlook statement. The stock trades up 9p (6.4%) at 150p.