The FTSE 100 is down 24 points to 7,401.5 after US stocks fell overnight as bond yields hit 3%, coinciding with a big sell off in tech shares. Google owner Alphabet was among the worse affected by the sell-off.
Pharma company Shire (SHP) is up 2.8% to £40.90 after its board confirms it is willing to recommend Japanese rival Takeda’s revised take-over offer. The UK-based company has been involved in a drawn out acquisition drama with Takeda but after the latter revised its offer, Shire appears to be willing to accept the £46bn offer ‘subject to satisfactory resolution of the other terms of the possible offer’. This includes due diligence of Takeda by Shire.
Hospitality company Whitbread (WTB) drops 1% to £41.44 despite it finally succumbing to activist pressure and agreeing to spin-off coffee chain Costa as a separate company. Its full year to 28 February results show a 6.1% hike in revenue to £3.3bn, a 4.5% increase in underlying pre-tax profit to £591m and a 5.6% increase in its dividend per share to 101p.
INTERNET FASHION RETAILER JUMPS
Logistics company Clipper (CLG) ticks up 4.3% to 469p on confirmation of a new contract with a Boohoo subsidiary, PrettyLittleThings.com. Clipper gives no information on the value of the contract but it will involve the creation of 1,200 jobs. The company also confirms that its results to 30 April will meet expectations, with growth in revenue, operating profit and net earnings.
This has been led by strong deposit and lending growth and the bank says it will increase its capital this year through issuing debt. Investors were presumably expecting even better growth.
The update comes just a day after shareholders overwhelmingly backed founder and chairman Vernon Hill despite swirling concerns about huge payments made by Metro Bank to Hill's wife.
FTSE 100 bank Lloyds (LLOY) shares are broadly flat at 65.9p as its results miss analysts forecasts. The bank's pre-tax profits hit £1.6bn, a 23% increase on the prior year but has had to set aside more money to deal with ongoing PPI claims.
Chemicals company Croda (CRDA) is down 4% to £44.33 despite achieving sales growth of 2.6% on a constant currency basis for its first quarter ending 31 March. However when the impact of currency translation is brought in, sales declined by 2.7%.