Investors display caution ahead of US rate decision
Source - SMW
The FTSE 100 was off its highs by midday, up 0.3% to 7,138.95 as more widely European markets began to lose some momentum heading into tonight's interest rate decision from the US Federal Reserve.
LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Bottling firm Coca-Cola HBC fizzed up 4.1% to £23.52 after it said a strong contribution from emerging markets had driven a solid increase in quarterly volumes.
AstraZeneca climbed 1.6% to £59.53 despite announcing that third-quarter earnings fell by more than a third as a slump in externalisation revenue, lower margins and increased costs weighed on performance.
UK fashion brand Burberry ticked 1.1% higher to £18.36 as it said Thursday pre-tax profit rose sharply in the first half of the year as cost cuts helped offset flat retail revenue growth.
Supermarket giant Sainsbury's was flat at 320p after reporting a 20% increase in its underlying pre-tax profit, boosted by substantial cost savings and synergies from its in-house Argos stores.
Food ingredients manufacturer Tate & Lyle added 1.5% to 696.6p as it announced a 30% drop in pre-tax profit to £113m for the six months to 30 September. But it said this was in line with expectations and left its full-year guidance unchanged.
Satellite firm Inmarsat slumped 4.8% to 438.4p as a modest increase in third-quarter revenues boosted by strong growth from its aviation division was overshadowed by a sharp rise in investment costs. Fashion brand Superdry fell 0.8% to 850p after reporting an increase in its Global Brand revenue in the first half against 'a challenging backdrop' which saw trading affected by unseasonably hot weather and impacting sales of its cold-weather clothing.
Interim pre-tax profit at car sales advertiser Autotrader rose 9% to £114.5m driven by strong adoption of new products and advertising packages by both retailers and manufacturers.
The company added that the strong first half meant revenue growth for the full year was likely to exceed previous guidance, news that captured the imagination of investors who sent the stock more than 2% higher to 449p.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Credit management services firm Arrow Global gained 17.3% to 233.5p on strong nine-month profit growth, putting it on target to meet 2018 expectations. The performance of the shares ahead of this announcement implied the market may have been expecting profit guidance to be cut.
Falling profit and earnings sparked a major sell-off at recycling services firm Renewi where underlying pre-tax profits slumped 12% to €33.9m. But the really bad news came in the shape of delays to volumes in parts of the business, which will likely act as a major drag on profits in the second half.
'Resumption of full soil production at ATM not expected this financial year resulting in reduced management expectations of up to €3m operating profit per month,' said the announcement.
That prompted a 9.4% fall in the share price to 49.43p, though off lows of around 45p.