UK shares rally for the second day straight in early trade on Wednesday as investors came to terms with the realities of Brexit. The FTSE 100 index jumps 122-odd points, or about 2%, to 6,262, setting the trend for widespread gains across the UK stock market and on major European indexes.
That means the UK's blue chip index is just 1.2% below the closing price on Thursday 23, the day before the surprise EU Referendum result became known.
But the mood is not matched by specialist electrical-to-telecommunications giant Dixons Carphone's (DC.), whose poor post-Brexit run continues. The shares slide 2.4% to 333.9p as fears over its exposure to the UK consumer and weaker European economies overshadow strong results for the year to 30 April. Headline pre-tax profit is up over 17% to £447 million on like-for-like sales 5% ahead, reflecting growth across its UK & Ireland, Nordic and Greek businesses, and there's a healthy 15% dividend hike to 9.75p.
CEO Seb James seeks to allay Brexit fears, commenting: 'Our view is that, as the strongest player in our market and despite the volatility that is the inevitable consequence of such change, we expect to find opportunities for additional growth and further consolidate our position as the leader in the UK market.'
Distributor Brammer (BRAM) sinks 46% to 77p as it flags a rapid slowdown in sales since Britain’s vote to leave the EU. Its business in the UK ‘started the month positively but it has experienced a particularly weak performance over the last few days,’ says Brammer’s management team in a statement. As a result the business will be close to breaching its debt covenants, they add.
Rival Electrocomponents (ECM) also slips 6.1% to 245p as investors see the scope for disappointment elsewhere in the sector.
Bus and rail operator Stagecoach (SGC) gains 2% to 223p after full year results which are largely in line with expectations. Underlying earnings per share gain 3.7% to 27.7p and chief executive Martin Griffiths says the business is selling some of its Megabus operations in Europe.
AIM-quoted oil company Nostra Terra (NTOG:AIM) is up 14.3% to 3p as it agrees to sell a 20% stake in its Chisholm Trail prospect, Oklahoma for $2.1 million. Its current market cap in dollars is $3.09 million.
Specialist lender Shawbrook (SHAW) rockets 24.1% higher to 173.9p as investors take advantage of a 52% share price decline since Britain voted to leave the EU. This follows a mixed trading update on Tuesday showing lending in the second quarter improving 35% compared to the same period a year earlier, offset by a shock £9 million impairment charge that sparked a profit warning.
High purity stevia ingredients producer PureCircle (PURE) sweetens up 9.1% to 294.5p on relief shipments recently detained by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been released for import into the US.
Formerly known as International Greetings, gift packing, greetings cards and stationery maker IG Design (IGR:AIM) sparks up 14.5p (9.8%) to 162.5p on stellar full-year figures. Besides strong sales and profit growth, a dramatic reduction in debt and a dividend increase from 1p to 2.5p, CEO Paul Fineman issues a soothing statement outlining his internationally diverse charge's ability to mitigate the impact of the EU referendum outcome.