The London stock market opens modestly lower with a swathe of negative corporate announcements weighing on already fragile confidence. EU Referendum concerns continue while investors are waiting on a key speech from US central bank chairwoman Janet Yellen later today.
The FTSE 100 index drifts around 10 points lower to 6,190, while midcap FTSE 250 stocks are also in decline.
Munitions and countermeasures specialist Chemring crashes 21.8% to 109.25p as first half losses increase from £1.3 million to £4 million and it says full year results will be 'slightly below expectations'.
Senior slumps 14.2% to 193.4p as it flags continued pressure on margins in its aerospace division and weaker revenue in its flexonics division thanks to challenging conditions in the heavy truck and oil and gas sectors.
Adding to the negative vibe is photobooth and laundry machine operator Photo-Me International (PHTM). Its shares slump 16.6% to 133.5p after it disappoints investors with a total dividend per share of 8.68p, lower than the 11.36p forecast by analysts, due to higher investment in technology and its estate.
The surge in sales from Japan's mandatory photo ID card programme, which drove underlying pre-tax profit up 14.6% to £40.1 million in the year to 30 April, is expected to slow this year due Government administrative issues.
Premier Inn and Costa owner Whitbread (WTB) rises 3.4% to £41.77 on a 1.8% rise in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 2 June. A substantial hotel extension programme at Premier Inn drove like-for-like sales up by 2.1% but RevPAR (revenue per available room) is down 0.5% in the soft hotel market. Like-for-like sales at Costa are up 2.6%, helped by an increase in prices.
Shares in Lebanese restaurant group Comptoir (COM:AIM) surge 28% to 64p on its first day of trading on the AIM market. The company, which owns 11 Comptoir Libanais restaurants, two Shawa restaurants and two standalone high-end restaurants called Levant and Kenza, has raised £16 million in a placing of which £8 million will be used to expand its estate.
A positive update sees drugs-through-the-skin delivery specialist Futura Medical (FUM:AIM) advance 10.6% to 23.5p. Upbeat data on an extended shelf life version of its condom, discussions on licensing pain relief gels and results from erectile dysfunction tests expected in September all feature. This follows confirmation on 13 June of a deal that could see its erection-maintaining condom sold in India, further details of which can be read here.
British premium lifestyle brand Joules (JOUL:AIM) adds 2p at 191.5p on a positive year-end trading statement. The AIM newcomer reports sales up 14.2% for the year to 29 May, revenue growth delivered in the retail and wholesale businesses and generated in the UK and overseas.