The FTSE 100 opens marginally lower at 7,304 on Thursday after the Prime Minister was boxed in by Parliament overnight. MPs from both sides blocked both a no-deal Brexit and a call for a snap election. In addition a number of stocks are trading ex-dividend today, dragging on the index.

After the close last night FTSE Russell announced its quarterly index review, making three changes to the FTSE 100 index. Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK), Meggitt (MGGT) and Polymetal (POLY) joined the top flight, as expected.

To make way, Direct Line Insurance (DLG), Marks & Spencer (MKS) and Micro Focus (MCRO) were demoted to the FTSE 250, also in line with market expectations.

The biggest FTSE 100 gainer this morning is aerospace and engineering firm Melrose (MRO), up 6.5% to 198p after it reported steady progress in its half year results and confirmed its full year guidance.

Performance in the aerospace division was ‘significantly better’ than last year and now contributes more than a third of operating profits, making it the largest division and the biggest profit driver.

House-builder Redrow (RDW) delivered an upbeat set of full year results with revenues up 10% to £2.1bn and pre-tax profits up 7% to a record £406m, lifting the shares by 0.4% to 568p.

Despite the customary cautious comments regarding the post-Brexit future, the firm has raised its final dividend to 20.5p per share making the full year pay-out 30.5p, an increase of 9%, putting the shares on a yield of 5.5%.

Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone (DC.) reported in-line trading in its first quarter and kept its full year guidance thanks to market share gains in-store and online.

Like-for-like electrical sales in the UK and Ireland were up 2% and international sales were up 4% with particularly good growth in the Nordic region. The mobile business in the UK and Ireland was weak as anticipated.

Transport group Go-Ahead (GOG) delivered forecast-beating full year revenues thanks to its overseas operations although its UK rail business suffered from losing the London Midland franchise and it lowered its target for the division for the current year. Shares track sideways at £21.48.

William Hill (WMH) shares also tread water at 180p after the firm announced that Ulrik Bengtsson, the current chief digital officer, would take over from Philip Bowcock as chief executive officer from the end of the month.

Star turn of the day is online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo (BOO:AIM) which raised guidance after a first half where performance was ahead of expectations with 'strong revenue growth driving operating leverage across key brands’.

As a result group sales for the full year are now expected to rise by 33% to 38% against the firm’s previous guidance of 25% to 30%. Shares jump 16% to an all-time high of 281p.

Shares in challenger bank CYBG (CYBG) collapse 18% to 114p after it announced overnight that it would take a further £300m to £450m of provisions for claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

This morning Co-operative Bank also reported ‘a substantially greater volume of enquiries and complaints’ than it expected and said it is ‘assessing the impact of these increased volumes on the provision for both operational processing and redress costs’.

Finally, stocks going ex-dividends today include Alliance Trust (ATST), Aviva (AV.), Dixons Carphone, Glencore (GLEN), Land Securities (LAND), Micro Focus, Paypoint (PAY) and Robert Walters (RWA).

 

 

Find out how to deal online from £1.50 in a SIPP, ISA or Dealing account.

Issue Date: 05 Sep 2019