FTSE 100 opens higher as UK goes to polls

Thu, 12th Dec 2019

The FTSE 100 has opened higher as the UK goes to the polls to vote in the general election, which is the first to be held in December since 1923. The polls have narrowed in the past week of campaigning. At 8.41am, the FTSE 100 was up 0.5%, or 35.72 points higher, to trade at 7,251.98. Balfour Beatty has bounced 4.1% to 239.80p as the infrastructure group said profit was expected to be slightly ahead of expectations following additional asset sales in the second half of the year. Telecoms retailer Dixons Carphone has soared 4.5% to 137.85p as it slashed annual losses as cost cuts helped offset weaker revenues amid a tough backdrop in the UK electricals market and ongoing weakness in mobile. John Laing is trading down 10.2% to 353.20 as the infrastructure group warned that its net asset value for the full year was expected to fall short of market expectations. PZ Cussons has shed 0.6% to 192.60p following the announcement that chief executive Alex Kannelis is due to retire at the end of January 2020 after 13 years in the role. The company also released a trading update for the half year to end of November which reported that challenging market conditions across key geographies had led to a decline in first-half revenue and operating profit compared with last year. Serco Group has been buoyed 1.6% to 148.30p after announcing it expects record order intake of £5bn for 2019, full-year 2019 revenue is expected to grow by 14% to £3.2bn. Ocado Group nudged up 0.6% to £12.50 as Ocado Retail reported growth in retail revenue of 10.8% to £429.1m in the 13 weeks to 1 December 2019, and said the collaboration between Ocado and M&S Group is 'working well'. Property developer Hammerson edged up 0.3% to 294.70p following completion of the sale of its 75% stake in the Parisian shopping destination Italie Deux to AXA Investment Managers for €430m. Weir Group has climbed 1.7% to £14.50 following two appointments to its group executive which strengthen its focus on sustainability and technology. Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca increased 0.2% to 7,317p in early trading on the news that its drug to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer received marketing authorisation from China's National Medical Products Administration. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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