The UK market dipped in early trading on Tuesday as investors ditched banks and oil companies. The FTSE 100 fell 37.8 points, or 0.57%, on reports that HSBC’s (HSBA) private bank is helping the wealthy to avoid paying tax. The UK’s largest bank was down 2.1% to 597.6p. Investors dumped other blue chip lenders following the news with Standard Chartered (STAN) slipping 2.4% to 916.8p and Barclays (BARC) falling 1.5% to 249.8p.
A retreat in oil prices from recent highs on news Chinese inflation is at its lowest level in five years leads to a sell-off in the sector - on the FTSE 100 Tullow Oil (TLW) drops 2.9% to 409.9p and Glasgow energy-focused engineer Weir (WEIR) slips 2.7% to £18.29.
Royal Mail (RMG) takes a 2.9% hit, falling to 441p on a forecast downgrade from analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove. They cut their price target from 575p to 505p and move to a ‘neutral’ from an ‘overweight’ rating.
Outsourcer Babcock International (BAB) gains 2.3% to £10.51 as a trading update says it has secured 70% of its forecast 2015/16 revenue through contract wins and extensions. It cites a weakening euro as a headwind for its Avincis business, acquired in March last year.
Housebuilder Bellway (BWY) edges 1.7% higher to £18.60 after the group’s trading update revealed a 15.7% increase in housing completions as well as a strong forward sales position. The value of its forward order book grew 24.5% to £975 million.
Hotelier Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) edges down 0.9% to 569p on a 36% drop in pre-tax profit to £188 million in 2014. This was the result of a strong pound and the previous year’s profit boost from the sale of the Glyndebourne redevelopment. Profit before tax excluding Glyndebourne rose 17% to £183 million.
A £25 million cash windfall for selling an asset that’s been out of action for three years triggers an 8% hike in Aquarius Platinum (AQP) to 13.5p. The miner is selling its Everest project to Northam and will use the proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet.
After jumping more than 550% between November and January, shares are today in reverse for Kibo Mining (KIBO:AIM). The stock falls 1.2% to 6p after the resources company failed to disclose all the usual information that accompanies a preliminary economic assessment. Investors are left scratching their head for details to support Kibo’s claim that its Inweru gold project is ‘financially feasible’.
Scalextric maker Hornby (HRN) adds 1% to 79p on a 6% rise in like-for-like sales from 1 October to date, with growth across all products and countries. The group is on course to deliver a full-year profit before tax of £1.5 million, in line with market expectations.