FTSE down despite ECB stimulus hint

Thu, 12th Nov 2020

The FTSE 100 index was down just over 1% this morning despite news that Europe's latest Covid-19 wave could be approaching a peak, and hints that the European Central Bank could increase its stimulus package. UK insurer Legal & General announced that it would keep its final dividend payment for 2020 flat due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It also set out five-year targets ahead of its investor day, aiming to generate £8-9 billion in combined cash and capital over the 2020 to 2024 period. The insurer's shares were down 3.3% this morning to 228.3p. WH Smith's shares were up by 0.41% this morning to £14.56 despite reporting a headline loss of £69 million in the 12 months to the end of August. Housebuilder Vistry said it was on track to deliver profit before tax at the top end of its expected range of £130-140 million, and plans to resume paying dividends next year. Its share price jumped by 3.75% in early trading today to 788.5p. Power network operator National Grid reported a 78% increase in statutory profit before tax in the six months to the end of September compared to last year, bringing in £720 million. However, its underlying profit before tax - excluding 'exceptional items, remeasurements and timing' - fell by 9%, and it maintained a cautious outlook for the full year. National Grid's stock was down 1.54% to 946p. Healthcare services company Mediclinic International reported a £64 million operating profit in the six months to 30 September 2020, marking a 57% fall from the same period in 2019 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company's shares were up by 1.13% this morning to 338.8p. Ladbrokes and bwin owner GVC Holdings' share price fell by 1.62% in early trading after it announced a strategy change. It said it would focus entirely on nationally regulated markets for all of its revenue by 2023. GVC shares were trading at £10.02 this morning. Luxury clothing company Burberry saw sales return to growth in October, hinting that the firm was recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its shares were up by 3.78% this morning to £16.88. Engineering company Vesuvius reported a continued improvement in demand in the three months to the end of October, with sales up 7% quarter-on-quarter. Despite this, its share price was down 1.04% in early trading to 474.8p. Defence technology company Qinetiq boosted its profit after tax by 19% in the first half of its financial year compared to the previous year, to £74.2 million. The company increased its full-year guidance, saying it now expected to deliver 'low double-digit revenue growth'. It share price jumped by 8.73% to reach 316.4p in early trading today. Investor 3i Infrastructure reported a net assets rise of 2% during a pandemic-plagued first half. Its net asset value per share increased to 259.4p at the 30 September, up from 254.5p at the end of March. This morning its shares were trading at 308.5p, down by 1.28%. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

FTSE 100 Latest
Value6,638.85
Change-56.22