UK shares opened lower on Tuesday with the FTSE 100 index dipping 0.2% to 5,929 points on lingering doubts about the state of economic recovery.

Overnight trading in Asia was mixed with China’s Shanghai SE Composite down 0.2% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 up 0.5%.

Gold prices were slightly lower down 0.1% at $1,911 an ounce and Brent Crude was 0.3% higher at $41.3 a barrel. The pound was up slightly against the US dollar at $1.299.

CORPORATE NEWS

Luxury watch and jewellery retailer Watches of Switzerland (WOSG) said revenues in the first 10 weeks of the second quarter had been stronger than expected, rising 20% in constant currency, leading the firm to upgrade its annual revenue and margin guidance.

Revenues for the year through April are now expected to between £880 million and £910 million, up from the firm's previous guidance of £840 million to £860 million.

The company's EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margin was seen rising by 1.5% compared with previous guidance of no change. Shares surged 25% to 420p.

Mining company BHP (BHP) announced it had signed an agreement to acquire Hess Corporation's 28% working interest in Shenzi, a six-lease development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, for $505 million.

The acquisition, expected to close by December, would bring BHP's working interest to 72% and immediately add roughly 11,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production. Shares were unmoved at £16.30.

In a full-year trading statement plastics manufacturer Victrex (VCT) said revenues for the year through September were expected to fall to £266 million, down from £294 million year-on-year, including a 27% slump in the fourth quarter.

Victrex was impacted by lower demand in the aerospace and energy sectors, both of which were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shares dropped 2.9% to £18.7.

In a third-quarter trading statement professional services group FDM (FDM) said it remained cautious on its recovery, but had continued to trade ‘comfortably’ in line with expectations amid signs of more normal market conditions. Shares dropped 2.7% to 997p.

Iron-ore producer Ferrexpo (FXPO) said a court order restricting the sale of its 50.3% stake in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining remained in place after its appeal against the ruling was dismissed by the Kyiv Court of Appeal.

The company also announced a 12% decline in third-quarter pellet production to 2.5 million tonnes from the second quarter's 2.9 million tonnes, owing to reduced volume amid planned pelletiser maintenance in early September 2020. Shares fell 2.3% to 170p.

Shares in professional services group RBG Holdings (RBGP:AIM) shot 10.7% higher to 67.5p after the firm reinstated full-year guidance. Based on management's current forecasts, the board now expects Group revenue and realised gains to be between £24 million and £26 million up from £23.7 million last year.

The Board will make a decision regarding the payment of an interim dividend when it has further visibility on the year-end position.

Global medical devices company Inspiration Health (IHC:AIM) reported revenues up 77% to £14.2 million and operating profit up 122% to £1.1 million for the half year to 31 July 2020.

The board said the growth and profitability of the group now supported an implementation of a progressive dividend policy and proposed a maiden interim dividend of 0.2 pence per share. Shares gained 12% to 69.5p.

Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group (RTN:AIM) booked a deeper first-half loss after the Covid-19 pandemic crimped sales and it permanently shuttered outlets as part of a sweeping restructuring.

Pre-tax losses for the 26 weeks to 28 June amounted to £234.7 million, compared to losses of £87.7 million year-on-year. Revenue more than halved to £227.2 million, down from £515.9 million. Shares gained 6% to 57.8p.

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Issue Date: 06 Oct 2020