Beer and chocolate lead market movers
After strong gains in share price for Cadbury following a £10.2bn bid from US giant Kraft Nabisco, analysts are predicting a price war for the UK confectioner.
Although this offer represented a 33% premium to the closing price on Friday, some analysts expect that the price paid will have to be nearer £15bn before management and shareholders may be prepared to succumb to ownership after 185 years of independence. Nestle and Mars have recently paid hefty premiums to acquire Rowntree and Wrigley respectively. Expect share price volatility as rumours abound.
Balfour Beatty may yet avoid the dreaded drop to the second division after it announced the winning of a £250m construction contract for six councils. Share prices increased and sent market capitalisation to £1.66bn.
Further fears of inflation sent gold through the $1,000 per ounce mark. Futures for December are trading around $1,009 as UK figures for high street trading showed a fall of 0.1% in like for like figures for August. This follows two months of gains for June and July and is a particular set back for clothing and footwear retailers. Earlier in the week Whitbread Chief Executive Alan Parker played down hopes of an end to the recession by saying that he could see no green shoots. Shares in Whitbread leapt a healthy 18% after he announced a better than expected trading forecast after strong performance at subsidiaries Costa Coffee and Premier Inn.
Greene King, the 2,500 strong pub group, announced strong trading results that sent shares up over 3% yesterday. Tthey said that pubs with a strong food offering had performed particularly well in the recent 18 week trading period to the end of August but remained cautious about the immediate future.
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