FTSE remains flat despite higher US open

Wed, 15th Sep 2021

The FTSE 100 went nowhere fast on Wednesday closing more or less unchanged at 7,030.45 having been broadly flat throughout the day. On Wall Street the S&P 500 was up 0.2% to 4,452.41 by 4.30pm UK time. Earlier data showed the UK consumer price index rose 3.2% in August, up from 2% in July and above expectations of 2.9%. Cyber security group Darktrace posted a deep annual loss owing to listing and financing costs, though it upgraded its annual revenue and margin guidance after adding more customers. It rose 16.1% to 741.1p. Housebuilder Redrow gained 0.8% to 705.8p as it more than doubled its pre-tax annual profit to £314 million after construction markets bounced back as lockdowns eased. Redrow reinstated its final dividend at 18.5p per share, bringing the full-year payout to 24.5p, and reinstated its medium-term guidance. Its shares are still up 26% in the year to date. Oil company Tullow Oil gained 5.6% to 47.5p, having swung to a first-half profit, despite lower production hurting revenue, after it booked much smaller exploration write-off and impairment charges. Tullow Oil also narrowed its annual production guidance upwards to 58,000-to-61,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Wagamama-owner Restaurant Group fell 9% to 110p after earlier trading more or less unchanged, posting a first-half loss as the pandemic continued to weigh on sales, though it upgraded annual guidance citing a recovery in demand since reopening. Restaurant Group's pre-tax losses for the 27 weeks to 4 July amounted to £58.8 million, narrowing from year-on-year losses of £234.7 million that included hefty asset writedowns. Premium mixers group Fever-Tree gained 9.5% to £23.42 after posting a rise in first-half profit buoyed by by a recovery in out-of-home sales at pubs and bars. Fever-Tree, which upped its interim dividend 2% to 5.52p per share, also reported on-going global logistics disruptions and cost pressures. Customer-review platform Trustpilot dropped 6.1% to 389p, having posted a deeper first-half loss owing to costs associated with its recent sharemarket listing. The fall, however, came as TrustPilot posted higher underlying earnings and upgraded its annual revenue guidance. Auto dealer Pendragon reversed 0.9% to 18.34p, even as it swung to a first-half profit after an easing of lockdowns helped fuel a recovery in demand. Pendragon said it was expecting a continued shortage of new and used vehicle supply for the remainder of the year, but stuck to its annual guidance. Banknote authentication group De La Rue added 1.8% to 188.4p on announcing plans to expand a factory in Malta, in a bid to increase the capacity for tax stamps and brand protection labels. De La Rue said the expansion would be delivered without exceeding an original total of £79.8 million investment outlined in its turnaround plan. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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