Fears over another bad day on the UK stock market have been scotched after the FTSE 100 got off to a quiet start. It slipped back 46 points, or 0.7%, to 6,092 amid efforts by Chancellor George Osborne to maintain a sense of calm following last week’s Brexit vote.
Osborne says there won’t be an emergency budget and insists the UK economy is ‘fundamentally strong’. Sterling fell a further 2% prior to the Chancellor’s statement and gold advanced 0.9% to $1,328 per ounce.
Asian markets stabilised with Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closing up 2.4% at 15,309.21.
Corporates are starting to comment on the likely impact of Brexit on their earnings. EasyJet (EZJ) and Foxtons (FOXT) both cite Brexit as one of the reasons behind their respective profit warnings today. EasyJet also blames worse-than-expected impact of air traffic control strikes and bad weather for its downgraded earnings guidance. It falls 10.2% to £11.79 and Foxtons is down 15.3% to 114.38p.
There is a continuation of trends seen last Friday with housebuilders, recruitment companies, asset managers and retailers all dominating the list of fallers on the FTSE 350 index. Likewise there are the same names dominating the list of risers with gold miners taking the top space.
Staffing companies remain under pressure as the Institute of Directors says a quarter of its members are implementing a hiring freeze.
Recruiter Hays (HAS), which earns 35% of its fees in the UK and a further 47% in continental Europe extends losses from Friday’s session, shedding a further 6.6% to 105p. Finance recruitment specialist PageGroup (PAGE) dips 5.2% to 294.5p and technology staffer SThree (STHR) falls 3.7% to 280p.
Trading platform Plus500 (PLUS:AIM) echoes a statement by peer CMC Markets (CMCX) on Friday which said it traded without any system glitches despite increased volume. Plus500 says it received the highest number of daily sign-ups in its history on 24 June.
Don’t panic at some data systems showing Domino’s Pizza (DOM) shares dropping by approximately two thirds in value. That is simply the result of a share split. When you adjust for the change in stock numbers, Domino’s is up 1.2% to 340.6p.
Infrastructure project manager Sweett (CSG:AIM) jumps 21% to 41.75p after withdrawing its recommendation for a 35p per share takeover bid by WSP. Instead, it has plumped for the 42p per share offer from Currie & Brown.
Angling products seller Fishing Republic (FISH:AIM) has raised £3.75 million through issuing new shares at 35p, a 17.6% discount to last Friday’s closing price. Former Tesco (TSCO) boss Terry Leahy is among the investors taking part in the fund raise.
Women's value fashion retailer Bonmarche (BON) softens 0.5p to 120.5p amid the wider market malaise, though there's positive news with new chief executive Helen Connolly's start date confirmed for Monday 15 August.
Investment firm Craven House Capital (CRV:AIM) soars by 76.2% to 1.85p after announcing plans to move from AIM to London’s Main Market and price its shares in US dollars. It implies this will appeal to global institutional investors.
Drug developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY:AIM) dives 18% to 19.2p on a delay to finding the optimal dose for its hay fever vaccine’s phase three trials in the US. Further tests are planned for 2017, delaying its potential sale in the country. This follows news from rival developer Circassia (CIR) on 20 June that its cat allergy treatment failed in phase three trials.
Organ transplant technology specialist Lifeline Scientific (LSIC:AIM) climbs 9.6% to 295p on trading in 2016 ‘significantly’ head of the same period last year. Trading update is due in August. There has been no conclusion in management’s talks that could lead to a sale of the business.