FTSE opened 0.3% weaker at 5,992 points on Friday as investors digested Fed chairman Powell’s speech where he signalled the central bank would allow inflation to run higher and unemployment to run lower.

Also impacting markets and foreign exchange today was news that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was stepping down for health reasons, ending his run as the country's longest-serving premier. Japan’s Topix index fell around 1.6% while the Yen rallied 0.5% against the US dollar.

Gold prices were 0.8% higher at $1,944 an ounce and Brent Crude prices were 0.6% weaker $44.8 per barrel. The pound was trading 0.5% higher against the US dollar at $1.33.

COMPANY NEWS

In a trading update games developer and publisher Frontier Developments (FDEV:AIM) said sales of all games in the current financial year to 31 May 2021 had been consistent with management expectations following on from a strong close to 2020, and guided full year revenue expectations to the top half of its target range.

It also revealed a road map for game releases over the next 12 months. The successful Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition will become available on Nintendo Switch on 3 November.

Frontier Foundry, the company’s new games label for third party publishing, revealed its first two games - the time-twisting turn-based combat strategy shooter Lemnis Gate, and physics-based co-op platformer Struggling.

Looking further ahead the company has  guided for the release of three new games for the 2022 fiscal year and five or six per year from 2023. Shares jumped 7.7% to £22.40, having more than doubled over the past year.

Infrastructure investment company BBGI (BBGI) raised its dividend target after reporting a rise in first-half net assets as its portfolio experienced no material impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Investment basis net asset value was up 0.3% to £861 million as at 30 June 2020, compared with £858.6 million at 31 December 2019.

A combined £17.9 million was invested to finance three new and follow-on acquisitions during the period.

The company targeted a 2020 dividend of 7.18p per share, up 2.6% on the 2019 dividend, and said it would target a 2021 dividend of 7.33 per share, up 2.1% on the 2020 dividend target. The shares traded sideways at 170p.

Alternative broadband provider Bigblu Broadband (BBB:AIM) reported first-half revenues down 15.4% to £25.8 million leading to steeper pre-tax losses of £6.8 million.

As previously announced, the company said its results were also impacted by widely fluctuating foreign exchange rates, and some slippage in new satellite capacity coming on-line from suppliers due to COVID-19. The shares were unmoved at 98.4p.

Aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business Benchmark (BMK:AIM) reported narrower third-quarter losses, underpinned by higher revenue and margins in its genetics business.

For the 3 months ended 30 June 2020, pre-tax losses narrowed to £8.5 million year-on-year as revenue increased by 7.4% to £24.5 million.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected to deliver annual performance in line with market expectations even as weak shrimp markets looked set to continue. The shares were unchanged at 46p in early trading.

UK financial services company Manx Financial (MFX:AIM) reported a 31% fall in half-year pre-tax profits to £1 million after impairments increased by 29% to £1.9 million. The shares rallied 4.8% to 8.7p.

Shares in Sports equipment developer Tandem (TND:AIM) rose 2.6% to 385p after it revealed strong demand for bicycles and outdoor products in the half-year to June.

However, it cautioned that the supply chain, particularly for bicycles, remained under pressure, with strong global demand on suppliers and increased lead times.

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Issue Date: 28 Aug 2020