UK stocks retreated on Thursday after British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) posted a quarterly loss and investors looked to a parliament address later in the day by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on the economic outlook.

The benchmark FTSE 100 fell 0.3% to a five-month low of 5,760.57, dragged lower by weak real estate and energy stocks, while defence firm BAE Systems (BA.) led the loser board with a near 4% decline to 446p.

The domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 also fell, losing 0.2% to 17,762.43.

Sunak is expected to unveil additional measures to help struggling firms, media reports said, as he faces growing pressure to offer more support to businesses and workers hit by tightening Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Embattled airline IAG recovered earlier sharper declines but still fell 1.5% to 98.89p after it further downgraded its capacity outlook for the rest of the year due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

Unilever (ULVR) rose 1% to £47.49 after it reported a stronger-than-expected return to sales growth in the third quarter, led by emerging markets where it generates the bulk of its revenue.

Mining company Anglo American (AAL) reported a 24% rise in quarterly production in the third quarter compared to the second.

Its share price was flat this morning at £19.50.

CLEANING UP

Rentokil Initial (RTO) reported ongoing revenue growth of 9.8% in the third quarter of 2020 as it returned to a programme of acquisitions. The company's shares were up 2.3% on the news to 529p.

Publishing and events company RELX (REL) saw its shares dropped 1% to £16.38 after it reported a 70% decline in revenue for its exhibitions and events business over the course of 2020 to the end of September.

Mining company Polymetal International (POLY) reported a 35% jump in third-quarter revenue as gold and silver prices rose. Revenue for the period reached $884 million.

Its shares ticked up slightly by 0.5% to £17.74.

Scientific measurement kit maker Renishaw (RSW) saw its stock fall nearly 3% to £55.58 this morning despite the company reporting that its adjusted profit before tax jumped by more than 300% in the three months to the end of September when compared to the same period last year.

Total revenue for the quarter declined to £116.9 million, down by 6%, but profit before tax reached £18.3 million compared to £4.3 million a year earlier.

SAVE OUR WEST END

Property investment company Capital & Counties (CAPC) said it had invested another £65 million in West End property investor Shaftesbury (SHB), increasing its stake to over 25%.

The company saw its share price dive around 10% 102.9p with the new investment coming as part of the latter’s deeply discounted cash call hoping to raise more than £300 million. Shaftesbury saw its own share price plunge more than 15% to 420.9p.

Shaftesbury is a massive owner of West End property, and area of London massively impacted by the UK’s lockdown rules.

Estate agent Countrywide (CWD) slumped 12% to 162p as it urged shareholders to back a recapitalisation plan. The plan would see Alchemy take a majority stake in the company with a £90 million investment and shake up the board with a new leadership team.

Builders merchant Travis Perkins (TPK) recorded like-for-like revenue growth of 3.9% in the third quarter of 2020, it announced this morning.

It cited strong performance from its Wickes and Toolstation brands, with the latter recording like-for-like sales growth of 25.5%. Travis Perkins shares were up 2.3% to £12.48.

Industrial controls manufacturer Spectris (SXS) reported a like-for-like sales decline of 9% in the third quarter of 2020, better than the 18% decline seen in Q2. The stock ticked up around 1% to £26.84.

Online comparison site Moneysupermarket.com (MONY) reported a 16% fall in revenue in the third quarter of 2020 amid tighter bank lending conditions.

Its stock fell by 4% in early trading to 256p

Online music and equipment retailer Gear4music (G4M:AIM) rallied more than 2% to 705p after upgrading its outlook after reporting a jump in sales in the first of the year as strong demand continued.

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Issue Date: 22 Oct 2020