UK stocks opened weaker today as the market awaits another key vote in parliament tonight. The FTSE 100 was down 15 points at 7,151 while the FTSE 250 was down 38 points at 20,270.

Durex to Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) cut its full-year guidance for the second time this year sticking the blame on cautious retail purchasing ahead of the flu season in the US for its Mucinex product sending its shares down almost 5% to £55.88.

The company has lowered its sales guidance to a range of 0% to minus 2% from the already reduced range of 2% to 3%.

Shares in food delivery company Just Eat (JE.) flew 23% higher to 724p  on a counter-bid cash offer from Prosus Naspers of 710p per share.

This represents a 20% premium to the value of Takeaway's all-share offer at the close of business yesterday. Just Eats's shares had fallen 18% from the proposed offer in August as we reported yesterday.

Shares in Premier Inn owner Whitbread (WTB) were 1.3% firmer at £42.56 despite reporting first-half pre-tax profits down 10.8% to £255m reflecting a 5.2% fall in revenues revenue per room (RevPar).

International distribution and services group Bunzl (BNZ) reported revenue growth of 0.5% at constant exchange rates for the three-months ended 30 September 2019.

The company’s full-year expectations remain unchanged with ‘overall trading consistent with the slowing underlying revenue growth’ as previously indicated. The market was unimpressed and pushed its shares 4% lower at £19.15.

The UK’s largest distributor of building materials Travis Perkins (TPK) released a trading statement for the period ended 30 September, saying that it had put the planned sale of its plumbing and heating division on hold amid market uncertainty.

The retail segment, which included Wickes, achieved like-for-like sales growth of 9.7%.

Travis Perkins said the process to demerge Wickes was on track, with completion of the separation due to be completed in the second quarter of 2020. Shares were trading up 0.5% at £14.98.

Miner Anglo American (AAL) saw its shares 1.3% higher at £19.65 after it said it was on track to meet its annual production targets. Third quarter production was 4% higher driven by a ramp-up of its Minas-Rio mine in Brazil.

Shares in sausage skin manufacturer Devro (DVO) were off 0.7% at 167p following weak volume growth in Europe and weaker than expected revenues in Japan.

For the period from 1 July to 30 September 2019, sales volume grew 1% in collagen casings, compared with a 1% decline in the first half of the year.

The company said its cost saving initiatives was progressing well and it was confident of achieving our guidance of £7m in fiscal 2019.

Shares in wealth manager St. James’s Place (STJ) were 0.6% higher after it recorded a 12% rise in third-quarter funds under management, owing to market performance and continued net fund inflows.

Funds under management at the end up September amounted to £112.82bn, up from £100.59bn on-year.

Net inflows for the period amounted to £2.11bn, compared to £2.47bn on-year.

Shares in online musical equipment retailer Gear4music (G4M:AIM) sounded a higher note today, up 6.2% to 215p after saying sales rose 16% in the first half of the year amid 'strong' international sales and a focus on higher-margin products.

For the six months to 30 September 2019, sales grew 16% to £49.4m and gross margin improved by 250 basis points to 25.2% from a year earlier.

The company said it had achieved its primary half-yearly goal of improving gross margins by cutting out less profitable sales and focusing on higher margin products.

A full list of the FTSE 250 risers and fallers can be found HERE

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Issue Date: 22 Oct 2019