UK stocks fall back in early trade on Wednesday after Chinese manufacturing failed to impress and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued a warning on the global economy.
That drags on the FTSE 100 index, plunging UK blue-chips 40 points lower, a rough 0.65% decline, to 6,189. Micaps and smaller company indexes are also firmly on the backfoot, as are all major European bourses.
The mood doesn't get much better with latest food retail data, covering the 12 weeks ending 22 May. The latest Kantar Worldpanel grocery share figures reveal an essentially flat market, the big four struggling to hold market share as Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose make gains. However, Tesco (TSCO) ticks up 0.8p to 165.9p on signs of stablisation in comparison to historic declines over the past two years, showing the smallest drop in sales of 1%. Sainsbury's (SBRY) is off 3.6p at 264.9p, its 1.2% sales decline leading to a drop in market share to 16.2%, while Morrisons (MRW) is marked down 1.3p to 196.9p, its sales continuing to be affected by store disposals.
Elsewhere in retail, car parts-to-camping equipment purveyor Halfords (HFD) reverses 3.8% to 422p as full-year results contains a dollar movement-related downgrade to March 2017 profit guidance. Retail like-for-like sales crept up 1.3% last year, Halfords taking market share in both its motoring and cycling divisions, albeit cycling sales were impacted by weaker market conditions and may take time to return to consistent growth.
Investors’ pulses are racing at blood monitor-maker Deltex Medical’s (DEMG:AIM) clinical trial results. Shares leap 11.4% to 4.8p on the company’s machine reducing the complications that follow surgery by 72%.
LXB Retail Properties (LXB:AIM) trades 3% higher at 63.1p on plans to return £64 million to shareholders, or 39p a share, a whopping 61.8% yield. There’s more to come as management spend the next 12 to 18 months selling the company’s assets before winding the business up.
Beefing up the clinical expertise of its board sends regenerative medicine specialist Tissue Regenix (TRX:AIM) 4.8% higher to 21.7p. Consultant vascular surgeon Professor Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam joins as a non-executive director.
Oil rig refurbishment and construction specialist Lamprell (LAM) advances 6.3% to 80.5p as it signs a joint development agreement with state operator Saudi Aramco (and two other partners) to construct a new yard in Saudi Arabia.
Malaysia-based analytics play Fusionex (FXI:AIM) dips a little less than 5% to 161p despite the company showing a big jump in half-year revenue. Lower pre-tax profits seem to be doing the damage, although this was to be expected as the company ambitiously invests for future growth, which you can read about here.