London’s FTSE 100 cheapened the best part of 30 points to 7,065 on Tuesday, despite remarks from Donald Trump that the US and China would ‘very shortly’ resume trade talks. A rare bout of strength in the pound served to weigh on UK stocks that earn in US dollars, explaining the share price declines seen at Carnival (CCL) and Ferguson (FERG).
Flexible office space supplier IWG (IWG) sparked up 2.6% to 417.7p on a Sky News report that said chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Dixon is in talks with investment banks about spinning off IWG’s US business into a separately listed company in New York.
Business supplies distributor Bunzl (BNZL) dropped 3% to a new 12-month low of £19.74 after first half results failed to inspire confidence, with the company again warning of slowing underlying organic growth in the US, its key market.
Unloved floor coverings-to-beds retailer Carpetright (CPR) rallied 11.1% to 15p on a well-received debt financing update. This marks another staging post in the retailer’s recovery following last year’s CVA and rescue rights issue. Substantial shareholder Meditor has agreed to purchase Carpetright’s £40.7m revolving credit facility (RCF) directly from the high street retailer’s lending banks and intends to engage with Carpetright ‘with a view to providing a more stable and longer-term funding platform’.
Retail sector logistics specialist Clipper Logistics (CLG) cheapened 3.8% to 216.5p on the news full year 2019 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) will be ‘moderately below current market expectations’. However this is purely a timing issue, caused by the accounting treatment of certain new contracts won towards the end of the financial year. Profits from these deals will be recognised in full year 2020 instead and Clipper continues to trade well.
Clinical stage biotechnology play PureTech Health (PRTC) ticked 4.1% higher to 281p as investors focused on the group’s strong cash position and exciting medicines pipeline rather than a widened first half operating loss.
Botswana-focused coalbed methane play Tlou Energy (TLOU:AIM) rose 2.2% to 4.65p on full year results reiterating the ‘excellent progress’ made recently. This includes the company’s selection as a preferred bidder for the development of one of the first commercial CBM gas-to-power projects in Botswana, the receipt of all environmental approvals required to commence commercial development and the successful drilling of two ‘dual lateral’ development wells.
Shares in Cambridge Cognition (COG:AIM) cratered 44.8% to 34.5p on a warning the neuroscience technology firm expects to report wider first half and full year losses amid challenging trading in parts of the business and increased costs.