FTSE slips into negative territory as MGM walks away from Entain bid

Tue, 19th Jan 2021

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.1% to 6,712.15 on Tuesday as solid gains for US stocks failed to get the index moving. Not helping matters was an 11.9% fall in shares in bookmaker Entain to £12.45 after potential suitor MGM walked away from a deal having seen its initial offer rebuffed. By 4.30pm UK time there was a happier picture on Wall Street with the S&P 500 rising 0.4% to 3,783.24 as treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen urged lawmakers to 'act big' on stimulus in her confirmation hearings. Mining company Rio Tinto fell 1% to £59.17 after it boosted fourth-quarter production and shipments of iron ore from Australia's Pilbara region. Fashion retailer Superdry slumped 16.2% to 201p, having reported a deeper first-half loss and scrapped its interim dividend, as the pandemic and related store closures disrupted its turnaround attempts. Credit data provider Experian was flat at £26.79 after it reported a 10% increase in third-quarter revenue as stronger growth in North America and Latin America helped offset weakness in UK and Ireland. Experian, however, warned of slower organic revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 3-5%, compared to 7% growth in the third. Online electrical retailer AO World dropped 4.2% to 361.5p despite reporting a jump in third-quarter revenue in the UK and Germany. AO World also said it had incurred 'significantly higher' costs as it negotiated working in a Covid compliant environment. Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy maker Premier Foods shed 4.8% to 102.8p, even as it guided for a rise in annual trading profit after its third-quarter sales jumped 9%, as people buy more groceries during lockdown. Trading profit for the year through March was expected at between £145 million and £150 million, up from £132.6 million year-on-year, the company said in an update. Sales had grown 12.5% in the year to date. Real estate company British Land dipped 1.3% to 448p on news that it had appointed Bhavesh Mistry as chief financial officer. Mistry was currently deputy CFO at Tesco, a position he had held for over two years. Gold miner Centamin firmed 2% to 118.5p, having maintained its guidance for 2021 after reporting annual production that met its revised expectations. Rental and student accommodation developer Watkin Jones gained 8.4% to 202p, even as it booked a 47% drop in annual profit after the pandemic led to the deferral of forward sales on developments. Watkin Jones declared a full-year dividend of 7.35p per share, down 12% year-on-year, but still welcomed by investors keen for yield in a tough market. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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