The FTSE 100 index dropped 36 points to 7,340 today along with international markets after Donald Trump merely re-iterated his rhetoric that a trade deal was imminent with China without providing new information, in a speech at the Economic Club of New York last night.
Shares in house builder Taylor Wimpey (TW.) bucked the trend to firm 1% at 171.5p after the company’s trading statement said that it still sees strong demand for homes even in the face of higher costs and Brexit worries.
Lower property values and weak retail markets were to blame for falling half-year profits at British Land (LAND), sending shares 2% lower to 563.8p. The company commented, ‘retail investment markets remained challenging, with volumes low, reflecting negative sentiment and a number of sellers are under pressure, and encouraging more opportunistic pricing'.
Industrial conglomerate Smiths Group (SMIN) said its underlying revenue from continuing operations rose 11% in the first quarter and that expectations for the full year were unchanged, leaving the shares flat £16.17.
For the full year, Smiths said it expected growth to be weighted towards the first half resulting in a more even balance in overall performance over the year.
Shares in steam management systems specialist Spirax-Sarco (SPX) were off 0.5% at £81.77 after the company gave a trading update for the four months ended 31 October saying that its expectations were unchanged despite slowing industrial production growth.
Shares in Central and Eastern European budget airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) hit an air-pocket despite posting a 91% jump in first-half profit, as higher ticket and ancillary revenue more than offset a rise in fuel costs. The shares traded 2% lower at £37.93.
Pre-tax profit for the six months through September rose to €387.9m, up from €202.8m on-year. The company tightened its profit guidance for 2020 net profit to between €335m and €350m.
'Brexiteer' Tim Martin’s Wetherspoon (JDW) posted higher first-quarter like-for-like sales up 5.3% and said that it continued to perform as expected for the full year. Shares traded down 0.6% at £15.16.
However rental income rose and the company lifted its dividend by 10%, giving the shares a 1% boost to £10.99.
Tool- and equipment-hire company Speedy Hire (SDY) reported half year revenues up 6% £204m and pre-tax profit up 21% to £16.4m, but the market seemed unimpressed, leaving the shares flat at 54.5p.
In a sign of increasing confidence the company upped its interim dividend by 17% to 70p.
Tullow also cuts its full year cash-flow forecast from $400m to around $350m.
A full list of FTSE 250 movers can be found HERE