Despite weakness on Wall Street and Parliament failing to support any of the Brexit options put before it last night, the FTSE 100 is in fairly chipper mood on Thursday opening up 0.5% at 7,228.

The biggest contributors by sector are Banks, Healthcare, Mining and Tobacco, which doesn't tell us much about sentiment as Banks and Miners are typically 'risk-on' while Healthcare and Tobacco are 'risk-off'.

We’re getting to the tail end of the reporting season and among the stragglers is facilities management firm MITIE (MTO) which delivers improved results for the full year.

Operating profits are seen in line with consensus while net debt and working capital have been reduced, but it seems the market was looking for a more upbeat outlook and the shares fall 6% to 140p.

Restaurant operator Fulham Shore (FUL:AIM), owner of The Real Greek and Franco Manca, reports upbeat full year trading thanks to increasing customer numbers.

Turnover has increased steadily each quarter with ‘a particularly strong trading performance towards the end of the year’. Shares add 4% to 11.75p.

Transport firm Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) reports strong full year results thanks to high organic growth and healthy contributions from acquired businesses like The Pallet Network and Speedy Freight.

Sales were up 35% to £843m thanks to winning business from new customers like Walkers Crisps and Pepsico but margins took a hit from all the extra work. The new year has started ‘in line with expectations’ and after their recent rally from 85p the shares hold steady at 98p.

Motor insurer Sabre (SBRE), which specialises in higher-risk motorists, met its full year targets and maintained its industry-leading combined ratio allowing it to pay out 100% of earnings in the form of dividends.

After hitting a year-high yesterday the shares back off 3% to 284p.

Meanwhile, another day, another twist in the Debenhams (DEB) tale. The company announced this morning that a majority of bondholders have accepted the amendments to their bonds, allowing it to secure new lending up to £200m.

Shares initially dropped 25% but have recovered to trade down 9% at 2.55p.

Also under pressure, from activist investor and shareholder Crystal Amber (CRS:AIM), van-hire firm Northgate (NTG) announces that non-executive chairman Andrew Page is stepping down.

Crystal Amber had blamed Mr Page for being ‘the principal driver of Northgate’s lacklustre performance’ in terms of operating profits and return on capital employed (ROCE). Shares add 3% to 380p on today’s news.

Stocks trading ex-dividend today include Bovis (BVS), British Land (BLND), Devro (DVRO), Fidelity European Values (FEV), Go-Ahead (GOG), Kingspan (KGP), Origin Enterprises (OGN), Prudential (PRU) and Schroders (SDR).

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Issue Date: 28 Mar 2019