UK equities defy global weakness ahead of US interest rate decision
Source - SMW
UK equities remained resilient amid a global decline ahead of the US Reserve's latest decision on interest rates as concerns over interest rates returned to the markets yet again.
The FTSE 100 advanced 0.3% to 7,140, supported by gains in the banking sector.
In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 0.5% to 11,514. There was a similarly glum mood in the US with the S&P 500 down 0.2% at 2,808 at around 4:45pm UK time.
Brent crude oil declined 1.1% to $71.28 per barrel.
LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Bottling firm Coca-Cola HBC fizzed up 5.1% to £23.76 after it said a strong contribution from emerging markets had driven a solid increase in quarterly volumes.
AstraZeneca climbed 4% to £60.93 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 3.1% higher to £18.73 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 up 1.5% at 324p 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 0.9% to 692.6p 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 7.8% to 424.4p 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 2.8% to 832p 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 2.9% higher to 451.7p.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Shares in Clipper Logistics accelerated 8.9% on a new contract for three years with budget sportswear retailer Sports Direct.
Vectura sealed an agreement with Hikma for the global development and commercialisation of generic versions of GlaxoSmithKline's Ellipta portfolio using Vectura's inhaler device. Shares in Vectura jumped 10.4% to 79p.
Credit management services firm Arrow Global gained 20.1% to 239p 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 9.2% fall in the share price to 50p, though off lows of around 45p.