The market is under the cosh amid signs US president Donald Trump is planning to impose tariffs on a further $200bn worth of Chinese goods. Early on the FTSE 100 is down 1.1% at 7,607.88.

Broadcaster Sky (SKY) slips 1.1% to £14.86 as it agrees to a sweetened £24.5bn offer from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. This is in response to a rival bid from US media conglomerate Comcast. The proposed transaction is worth £14 per share – below the current share price.

A merry-go-round of potential deals involving Sky, Fox, Disney and Comcast means this is not an end to a takeover saga which began with Fox’s initial bid in December 2016.

Housebuilder Barratt Developments (BDEV) gains 1.4% to 489.8p in a weak market as it reports it expects to end its financial year with record pre-tax profits of about £835m, thanks to a strong contribution from its regional business

Total completions including joint ventures rose to 17,579 for the year through June, the highest in a decade, from 17,395 the previous year.

Year-end net cash is expected to be ahead of guidance at £790m, up from £723.7m the previous year.

Software firm Micro Focus International (MCRO) falls 3.8% to £12.54 as it swings to a first-half loss, driven by problems integrating its purchase of HP's software division. Pre-tax losses for the six months through April amount to $68.5m, compared to a $83.1m profit a year earlier.

Micro Focus's shares fell sharply in March when it warned revenue was falling faster than expected and replaced chief executive Chris Hu with Stephen Murdoch.

Luxury brand Burberry (BRBY) reveals flat sales in its first quarter amid a 'period of transition.' For the three months to 30 June, retail revenue was at £479m compared with £478m. The shares fall 4.7% to £20.03.

Drugs firm Indivior (INDV) warns net revenue and net income would fall short of previous guidance,  as the launch of generic versions of its opioid addiction treatment in the United States would weigh on performance.

The profit warning comes after Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories and U.S.-based Mylan NV received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in June to launch a generic version of Indivior’s Suboxone Film. The shares fall 34.7% to 246.8p.

Recruitment company Page Group (PAGE) says it expects its full-year operating profit to be slightly ahead of market consensus, as gross earnings in the first half grew by 12.5%. The shares tick up 0.3% to 593.5p.


Issue Date: 11 Jul 2018