UK stocks clawed back early losses but remained in the red Monday lunchtime as markets took a breather ahead of a busy week of earnings announcements and an interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Bitcoin surged 10% to $38,526 on a combination of short-covering and rekindled investor enthusiasm after Tesla said it might resume accepting payment in cryptocurrencies.

At 12pm the FTE 100 index of leading shares was down 0.3% to 7,008 points.

COMPANY NEWS

Low-cost airline Ryanair (RYA) posted increased losses for the first quarter to the end of June after most Easter travel was cancelled and European restrictions were relaxed more slowly than hoped during May and June.

However, the firm pointed to a ‘strong booking recovery’ and raised its full year passenger forecast to between 90 million and 100 million. The shares climbed 4% to €16.4.

Cruise ship operator Carnival (CCL) announced it had re-started sailings from Seattle to Alaska over the weekend with Princess and Holland America each operating 10 cruises between now and the end of September. The firm pointed out that historically one in two visitors who cruise to Alaska use Princess or New Holland. The shares eased 0.8% to £14.33.

Meat producer Cranswick (CWK) posted a positive first quarter trading update with revenues up 9.6% in the three months to the end of June driven by a 7.7% increase in volumes as the food service industry and food to go sales recovered.

Sales to the Far East were ‘well ahead’ of the same quarter last year thanks to higher prices, while the firm is still waiting for official sign-off on its China export licence for the primary processing facility in Norfolk. The shares added 2.2% to £40.88.

Foreign & Colonial (FCIT), the world’s oldest collective investment trust, posted a total net asset value return of 12.3% in the first half to June, ahead of its FTSE All-World Index benchmark and ahead of its shares which gained 8.3% over the half.

Performance was helped by the trust’s private equity exposure, which gained 14.2%, and by its gearing which was 8.8% at the end of the half. The shares dipped 0.2% 859p.

SMALL-CAP ROUND-UP

Internet platform operator and domain name seller CentralNic (CNIC:AIM) announced a sharp uplift in second quarter earnings and lifted its guidance for the first half.

Revenues for the six months to June are now expected to rise 56% to $174 million while operating earnings are seen at $20 million, a 32% increase. The shares jumped 9.6% to 97.5p.

Alternative finance company Duke Royalty (DUKE:AIM) reported record cash revenues of £2.9 million for the quarter to June and forecast revenues of £3.2 million for the quarter to September, another company record.

In a busy quarter, the firm exited its investment in a UK recruitment company and entered a new royalty agreement with a European healthcare company. The shares added 2.5% to 41.3p.

DeepVerge (DVRG:AIM), which analyses skin samples to assess the impact of product claims by global cosmetics companies, reported strong demand for its services and a plan to increase processing capacity from its current maximum of 5,000 home test kits a month to 20,000 kits by the end of this year. The shares dipped 1.1% to 28.2p.

FOR A LIST OF FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS SEE HERE

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

Issue Date: 26 Jul 2021