UK shares dip modestly lower in early trade on Friday following a two-day run of soaring gains. The FTSE 100 slips around 6 points lower to 6,095, responding to a lower Wall Street overnight, sparked by a widening US current-account deficit and weaker-than-forecast manufacturing data. Europe is weaker too.
Retail powerhouse Sports Direct (SPD) puts on 3p at 579.5p after issuing a statement defending its employment practices in response to adverse media commentary. Newcastle United-owner Mike Ashley, the driving force and owner of the sporting goods giant, is to personally oversee a review of all agency worker terms and conditions in the New Year.
Cruise and tour operator All Leisure (ALLG:AIM) sinks 17.4% to 4.8p after it warns trading conditions are expected to remain very challenging in view of the escalating conflict in the Middle East and recent acts of terrorism. The company previously thought the business would make a small loss for the full year, but it says better late bookings for September/October departures mean profit before tax will be broadly neutral. Read Shares web story exclusive here.
Media minnow Electric Word (ELE:AIM) jumps 20% to 3.62p as it conditionally agrees to sell its indirect 70% shareholding in iGaming Business to Clarion Events, a global events business with a portfolio of event and media businesses across a range of vertical markets.
Chemicals tiddler Hardide (HDD:AIM) leaps 27% to 1.5p as it bags a major order worth more than £300,000 to supply crucial coated components for a new type of airport high-speed X-ray baggage screening machine.
Drug testing specialist Cyprotex (CRX:AIM) climbs 5.8% to 100p on full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) being ‘significantly’ ahead of the £3.1 million consensus.
Retailer United Carpets (UCG:AIM) firms 0.13p to 11.88p on better-than-expected interims, with flooring and bed like-for-like sales in positive territory, as well as a confident current trading statement. For more on the Unitec Carpets story, read our small cap article from August here.