FTSE on the front foot with US stimulus in focus

Thu, 8th Oct 2020

After a see-saw morning the FTSE 100 was back in positive territory by lunchtime apparently still buoyed by signs that president Donald Trump was dialling back his decision to abandon stimulus talks with the Democrats. At midday the index of leading UK shares was up 0.5% to 5,977.99. These developments also looked set to buoy US equities when the market reopens later based on the latest trading in US futures markets. Gambling group GVC has risen 4% to £10.94 having lifted its guidance as it said that for the period from 1 July to 30 September 2020, net gaming revenue was up 12% year-on-year as online gaming revenue jumped 26%. The company also agreed to acquire Bet.pt in Portugal to extend its business across Iberia. Budget airline Easyjet was firmly grounded at 523.6p on the news that it expects to fly 25% of planned capacity in the first quarter of next year and to report a loss in the range of £815 million to £845 million on a pandemic-led hit to demand. It reported that total group revenue for the quarter ending 30 September fell 73% to about £620 million. Broadband retailer TalkTalk Telecom has received a preliminary and non-binding proposal from Toscafund Asset Management regarding a possible cash offer of 97p per share. The shares rose 16.6% to 97.1p. Hargreaves Lansdown has lost 5.8% to £14.96 after the wealth manager reported that for the three month period to 30 September 2020, assets under administration rose to £106.9 billion, up 3% since 30 June 2020, while revenue was up 12% to £143.7 million year-on-year due to positive market movement. Imperial Brands has lit up 0.4% to £13.70 despite announcing that it expected full-year earnings to fall, and revenue to be broadly flat on last year. The company said it expects tobacco net revenue up 1%. Smith & Nephew has dipped 0.2% to £15.17 on the news the medical technology group has priced a US dollar bond issue due in 2030. Conversely pest control group Rentokil Initial was buoyed, up 0.3% to 529p after it announced the issue of a €800 million eight-year bond, priced at 0.50%, which is its lowest ever coupon. CMC Markets is 1.1% lower to 360.5p as it reported being 'confident' that net operating income would be towards the upper end of the current range of consensus following 'strong' performance in the first half of the year. Electrocomponents has risen 2.9% to 744.5p as the electronics products maker reported a 7% fall like-for-like revenue in the first half of the year, owing to the pandemic hit to emerging market sales. Unite is down 0.5% to 876.5p after the student accommodation group warned of reduced rental income as its occupancy target fell short due to cancellations linked to rising Covid-19 cases. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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