London’s FTSE 100 firmed 36.6 points to 7,338.97 on Monday with investors drawing confidence from optimistic comments from US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross about a US/China trade war resolution. Mining stocks Glencore (GLEN) and Antofagasta (ANTO), as well as Asia-focused life insurer Prudential (PRU) and several UK banking providers, led the blue chip benchmark higher.

International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) rose 10.4p to 553p after acquiring Air Europa for €1bn in cash as the British Airways owner set its sights on the market in European travel to Latin America.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Willie Walsh insisted the deal adds ‘a new competitive, cost effective airline to IAG, consolidating Madrid as a leading European hub and resulting in IAG achieving South Atlantic leadership, therefore generating additional financial value for our shareholders.’

Budget carrier Ryanair (RYA) improved 5.3% to €13.14 after reporting steady first half profits of €1.15bn on revenue up 11% to €5.39bn and narrowing its full year profit guidance from €750m-to-€950m to a new range of €800m-to-€900m, albeit this cautious guidance is heavily dependent on Brexit, fares and security events.

Serviced office provider IWG (IWG) sparked up 2.5% to 392.7p after agreeing to sell its workspace business in Switzerland for around £94m.

Also in demand was Marston’s (MARS), marked up 1.2p to 124.4p after agreeing to sell 137 pubs to Admiral Taverns for £44.9m in line with its debt reduction plans.

Elsewhere, the specialist insurer Hiscox (HSX) cheapened 2.9% to £14.33 despite reporting overall growth in third quarter premiums as the market focused on caution around claims. ‘Paying claims is what we are here for,’ commented CEO Bronek Masojada, ‘and we have reserved $165m for claims from Hurricane Dorian and Typhoons Faxai and Hagibis. We expect an additional impact from lower fees and profit commissions.’

Video games developer Team17 (TM17:AIM) ticked up 10p to 307.5p on news it expects both full year sales and adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to beat market expectations thanks to ‘continued sales momentum’ across its portfolio of titles.

Smart home solutions minnow LightwaveRF (LWRF:AIM) crashed 26.5% lower to 4.5p after warning of a full year sales shortfall and wider than forecast losses as a lack of working capital impacted fourth quarter trading.

Volga Gas (VGAS:AIM), the oil and gas explorer operating in Russia, reversed 6.1% to 31p after downgrading production guidance for the remainder of 2019 in a disappointing October update.

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Issue Date: 04 Nov 2019