UK stocks opened on the back foot on Friday with the FTSE 100 falling 0.5% to 6,017 points while the mid-cap FTSE 250 opened marginally lower.

Mining shares were in demand with Fresnillo (FRES) one of the top gainers up 2% to £13.10, while International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) and Rolls Royce (RR.) were the biggest fallers losing more than 5% each.

Banks were the main drag on the market for a second day after the Bank of England suggested it would consider setting negative interest rates if unemployment rose sharply after the furlough scheme ended or a second wave of coronavirus damaged the UK economy.

In Asian trading China’s Shanghai SE composite rose 2% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 was 0.2% higher.

Brent crude prices traded 1% higher at $43.4 dollars a barrel while gold prices nudged up 0.4% to $1,953 an ounce.


Further to the announcement on 31 July regarding its intention to sell its MTS and Borsa Italiana businesses, London Stock Exchange (LSE) said it had entered exclusive discussions with Euronext N.V. in relation to the sale of the Borsa Italiana group. The shares nudged up 0.4% to £88.8.

Infrastructure group John Laing (JLG) said it had agreed to sell its 30% stake in the InterCity Express programme phase-two project for up to £421 million.

In the first stage, a 15% stake would be sold generating £203.4 million while remaining the 15% stake would be sold at £203.4 million plus interest, calculated at a rate of 7% per annum, generating up to £217.6 million of income. The shares reacted positively, gaining 4% to 296p.

Fund management firm Investec (INVP) said it expected a rise in net asset value, but warned expected credit losses would remain elevated amid lower interest rates and reduced client activity.

Over the five months to 31 August 2020, third-party funds under management increased by 14.1% to £51.4b billion and the company saw positive inflows of £391 million. Following prevailing guidance from both the South African and UK regulators regarding dividend declarations, no dividend was expected. The shares were unchanged at 138p.

In a trading statement, designer, manufacturer and supplier of advanced testing systems to the automotive industry AB Dynamics (ABDP:AIM) said the business had been performing well with gross margins ahead of ahead of the prior year.

Revenues for the year ended 31 July 2020 are expected to be in the range of £60 million to £62 million. Having suspended the interim dividend the board said it would re-instate payment of dividends at the year-end. The shares reversed 6% to £18.1.

Vertically integrated skin product test services company, Integumen (SKIN:AIM) said first half revenues grew 290% to £1 million and reaffirmed guidance for full-year sales to 31 December 2020 to reach £4 million. The shares rose 2% to 36.3p.

Shares in provider of cloud-based services and mobile software-as-a-service company Crimson Tide (TIDE:AIM) jumped 8% to 3.9p after reporting interim revenues up 40% to £1.77 million and pre-tax profits up 154% to £0.26 million.


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Issue Date: 18 Sep 2020