The major UK equity indices continued to encounter selling pressure at lunchtime on Tuesday, with investors taking the opportunity to lock-in recent gains as bond yields rose, with 10-year Gilts hitting a three-month high.

The benchmark FTSE 100 closed Monday at its highest since January 2020, and the index has risen 5.2% in the past month.

At midday, the FTSE 100 was trading 0.5% lower at 7569.55 and, the mid cap FTSE 250 Index fell by 1.2% to 22,580.53.

Elsewhere, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the unemployment rate for September to November fell by 0.4% to 4.1%, marginally below the consensus forecasts of 4.2%.

There was renewed appetite for UK telecoms stocks with Vodafone (VOD) and BT Group (BT.A) heading up the FTSE 100 leader board, with rises of 3.3% and 3.2% respectively.

Media stock Pearson (PSON) was also in demand ahead of the release of its January trading update on Wednesday. Shares moved 3.2% higher to 122.8p

MARGIN WARNING

Online retail business THG (THG) was under the cosh on Tuesday after warning that its profit margins for the year will miss analysts’ forecasts and revenue growth will slow.

The retail technology company, which floated its shares in September 2020 at 500p, said group revenue rose by 27.1% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021. The board said it expects full-year revenue growth in 2022 of 22% to 25% on a constant currency basis. Management also warned of rising commodity prices affecting its nutrition division.

On the upside, oil giants BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) rallied as oil prices surged. Brent crude futures rose around 1% to $87.41.

Just Group (JUST) gained more than 9% to 94p after it posted a 25% jump in full-year retirement income sales to £2.7 billion.

Alternative asset management firm Petershill Partners (PHLL) advanced 2.3% to 243p after saying it invested $458 million on acquisitions in the fourth quarter, which are expected to be immediately accretive to consensus earnings forecasts.

ELSEWHERE ON THE MARKET

Marshalls (MSLH) rose nearly 2% to 701p  was also on the front foot as the landscaping specialist lifted full-year guidance after a strong final quarter of the last fiscal year which helped drive a 26% increase in annual revenue.

Defence technology firm Qinetiq (QQ.) rallied 5% to 284.2p saying that it remained on track to meet its full-year expectations after ‘strong’ progress in the third quarter.

Chemicals company Elementis (ELM) said on Tuesday that fourth-quarter adjusted operating profits were now expected to be in the range of $105 million to $107 million, modestly ahead of expectations.

The news was taken well by investors, sending the stock 2.3% higher  to 137p.

Recruitment minnow Gattaca (GATC:AIM) fell almost 39% after warning on profit as recovery in its markets was coming through slower than hoped. The stock, worth 272p last summer, fell to 84p.

CYBA (CYBA) shares shot up 21% to 2p in early deals as it confirmed it is still in discussions to buy PolySwarm. The SPAC business made the announcement after noting the recent movement of PolySwarm’s cryptocurrency token Nectar.

On 12 January 2022 Nectar was accepted for trading on the Coinbase Exchange and within two trading days had increased by 760%.

 

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Issue Date: 18 Jan 2022