The FTSE 100 builds slightly on yesterday's record high, up 6.7 points to 7,737.76 ahead of the release of UK manufacturing and industrial production data

The market is as underwhelmed by an update from housebuilder Taylor Wimpey (TW.) as it was by those of its peer Persimmon (PSN) 24 hours earlier, marking the shares 4% lower to 200.3p as it follows suit in sounding a pretty cautious tone on ‘political and economic risks’. The order book fell year-on-year from £1.68bn to £1.62bn.

The rest of the sector is also weak, Persimmon falling 2.4% to £26.51, Barratt Developments (BDEV) down 2.1% at 629.6p and Berkeley (BKG) down 1.7% at £41.66.

Software business Micro Focus (MCRO) is the top riser on the FTSE 100 as Monday’s heavy losses draw out bargain hunters, the shares rising 3.3% to £22.73. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is hot on its heels, rising 2.3% to 287p as investment bank Morgan Stanley moves to ‘overweight’ from ‘equal weight’ on the stock.

Continuing the sharp divergence between winners and losers in the retail sector over the festive period, supermarket Sainsbury’s (SBRY) is up 1.8% to 252.9p guides for profit to be ahead of expectations after a ‘record’ Christmas week while menswear business Moss Bros (MOSB) is down 22% to 70.2p as it posts sales down 8% on a like-for-like basis since December and trims its own profit guidance.

Troubled support services business Interserve (IRV) enjoys a significant relief rally, up 18.5% to 118p, as it releases an in-line trading update for 2017, guides for 2018 operating profit to come in ahead of expectations and reports progress on discussions with its lenders.

Shares in trading platform providers CMC (CMC), IG (IGG) and Plus500 (PLUS:AIM) are down 5.6% to 148.8p, 4.2% to 746p and 4.6% to £10.81 after financial watchdog the FCA says there are ‘areas of serious concern’ in the UK contracts for difference market.

Dementia detecting and monitoring software developer Cambridge Cognition (COG:AIM) says revenue will fall in 2017 after two contracts worth £2.3m fail to complete before the end of the year. The shares dive 18.2% to 126p on the update.

Computer games business Frontier Developments (FDEV:AIM) slips 11.4% as it suggests sales of its current flagship title Elite Dangerous will ‘normalise down’ in its second half in an otherwise in line update ahead of first half results.


Issue Date: 10 Jan 2018