US President Donald Trump’s latest trade war tariff threat weighs on sentiment on Tuesday, with the FTSE 100 cheapening 17.4 points to 7, 363.2. However, weakness among banks and utilities is being softened by strength among pharma and mining stocks and investors are perhaps taking some comfort in the news that China’s vice-premier Liu He will travel to the US for another round of trade talks later this week.
Pizza delivery giant Domino’s Pizza (DOM) sours 10% to 234.7p on guidance the international business won’t break-even this year after all following a weak first quarter. UK like-for-like order volumes were also down 2.7% in the quarter and Domino’s cautions that new store openings continue to be impacted by its ongoing tussles with franchisees.
Online estate agent Purplebricks (PURP:AIM) cheapens 7.3% to 125.2p as it announces the immediate departure of founder and CEO Michael Bruce, as well as a strategic review of its US business and an exit from an increasingly challenging Australian market, where it admits to having made ‘some execution errors’.
Vodafone (VOD) edges up 1.8p to 141.8p after inking a cable wholesale agreement in Germany with Spain’s Telefonica, an agreement enabling Telefonica Deutschland to offer high-speed broadband services to consumers on Vodafone and Unitymedia’s cable network in Germany.
Pharmaceutical firm Vectura (VEC) is bid up 14.4% to 82.75p after winning a juicy $89.7m in damages after a US court finds one of its patents was valid and infringed upon by three of long-standing partner GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Ellipta products.
Floorcoverings industry consolidator Victoria (VCP:AIM) improves 4.4% to 544p on the reassuring news performance for the year to March will meet consensus expectations, with like-for-like sales growth continuing, margin enhancement initiatives having a positive impact and the company on course to generate ‘substantial positive cash flow in the 2020 financial year’.
Africa-focused fuel retailer Vivo Energy (VVO) softens 5p or 3.9% to 123p despite news of a positive start to the year with sales volumes up 7% in the first quarter. This leaves Vivo Energy on track to meet annual guidance for low to mid double digit growth, although some investors are homing in on a year-on-year drop in gross cash unit margins.
India-focused fashion minnow Koovs (KOOV:AIM) clips ahead 7% to 9.25p as Indian fashion apparel giant Future injects a further £10.5m into the company. Koovs appears to have turned a corner following the turmoil caused by demonetisation and the implementation of India’s goods and services tax, with orders up sharply in the first three months of 2019.