Gin & tonic with lime
Carlsberg wants to add mixer maker Britvic to its portfolio / Image source: Adobe

Stock prices in London closed in the red on Friday, after investors were left to mull over mixed local economic data which painted a conflicting picture of the economy.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 34.74 points, 0.4%, at 8,237.72. The FTSE 250 ended down 56.37 points, 0.3%, at 20,442.35, and the AIM All-Share closed up 0.19 of a point at 772.57.

Over the last five days, the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 were up 1.1% and 1.6%, respectively. However, the AIM All-Share lost 0.6% over the week.

The Cboe UK 100 ended down 0.4% at 819.61, the Cboe UK 250 closed down 0.4% at 17,775.21, and the Cboe Small Companies ended down 0.6% at 16,916.48.

In European equities on Friday, the CAC 40 in Paris ended down 0.6%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt ended down 0.4%.

Investors had some mixed economic data to digest on Friday, painting a conflicting picture of the UK economy.

UK retail sales increased at a faster pace than expected last month, numbers showed.

According to the Office for National Statistics, UK retail sales volumes surged 2.9% in May from April, topping the FXStreet cited consensus of a 1.5% rise. Sales had declined 1.8% in April from March. April’s outcome was upwardly revised from an initially-reported 2.3% decline.

AJ Bell’s Russ Mould called the retail sales data ‘buoyant.’

The latest S&P Global flash UK composite purchasing managers’ index fell to 51.7 points in June, from May’s final tally of 53.0 points. The reading fell towards the 50.0 no change mark, suggesting growth in the UK’s private sector economy slowed.

The manufacturing PMI expanded to a 23-month-high of 51.4 points in June’s flash estimate, edging up from 51.2 in May. The services PMI declined to a seven-month-low of 51.2 points, however, from 52.9.

Across the Atlantic, in the US, the composite PMI reached its highest level since mid-2022 with the service sector leading the expansion, data from S&P Global showed on Friday.

The S&P Global flash composite output PMI ‘edged higher’ to 54.6 points in June from 54.5 in May. The latest reading was the index’s highest since April 2022.

‘The early PMI data signal the fastest economic expansion for over two years in June, hinting at an encouragingly robust end to the second quarter while at the same time inflation pressures have cooled,’ commented Chris Williamson, S&P Global’s chief business economist. ‘The PMI is running at a level broadly consistent with the economy growing at an annualised rate of just under 2.5%.’

Stocks in New York were lower at the London equities close, with the DJIA and the Nasdaq Composite both down 0.1%, whilst the S&P 500 index lost 0.2%.

The pound was quoted at $1.2628 at the London equities close Friday, down compared to $1.2675 at the close on Thursday. The euro stood at $1.0685 at the European equities close Friday, lower against $1.0713 at the same time on Thursday. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JP¥159.52, down compared to JP¥159.71 late Thursday.

In London’s FTSE 250, Britvic jumped 7.8% after rejecting a 1,250 pence per share bid from Danish brewer, Carlsberg.

The proposal from Carlsberg followed an initial 1,200p per share tilt earlier in June.

Britvic, the soft drinks maker known for its ‘posh tonics’, unanimously rejected the plan claiming it undervalued the business.

Carlsberg said it was considering its position following the rejection and will make a further announcement.

‘The proposal represents a compelling opportunity for Britvic shareholders to realise their investment in full in cash at an attractive valuation,’ Carlsberg added.

On AIM, Crimson Tide soared 41%, after it disclosed a competing bid proposal from Ideagen, which trumped a second approach from Checkit.

Crimson Tide is a Kent, England-based software developer and provider of the mpro5 process management application, helping companies to become more digital and their workforces more mobile.

Last Friday, Crimson Tide said it received two bid approaches. One was a second all-share bid proposal from Checkit.

Crimson Tide said it had rejected the second approach on Friday, noting neither proposal contained a cash alternative.

Also on Friday, Crimson Tide received a non-binding proposal from Ideagen, a software company, regarding a possible cash offer for the company at a price of 312 pence per Crimson Tide share. This would value Crimson Tide at around £21 million.

Brent oil was quoted at $85.73 a barrel at the London equities close Friday, down from $85.57 late Thursday. Gold was quoted at $2,326.10 an ounce at the London equities close Friday, lower against $2,357.90 at the close on Thursday.

In Monday’s UK corporate calendar, there are full year results for AO World. There are also half year results due out for Patria Private Equity Trust.

The economic calendar for Monday is looking quiet. The week will pick up on Tuesday with the US house price index and consumer confidence data.

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


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

Issue Date: 21 Jun 2024