UK stocks end Tuesday lower as investors weigh economic risks

Tue, 13th Oct 2020

UK stocks saw deeper losses during the afternoon session influenced by weak European banks as European interest rates fell and investors eyed more stimulus measures from the European central bank. This was despite better than expected results from JP Morgan Chase as the US banks kicked-off the US reporting season. At 16:30, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was 0.6% lower at 5,964 points. COMPANY NEWS Auto retailer Marshall Motor rallied 13% to 135.5p, having upgraded its annual profit guidance as trading continued to bounce back strongly following an easing of the UK's national lockdown. Marshall Motor's pre-tax profit for the year through December was now seen falling to £15 million, up from previous guidance of breakeven. Third-quarter revenue had jumped 30%, including like-for-like sales growth of 18%. Insurance investor BP Marsh posted close to a 10% rise in net asset value to £142.6 million or 396.2p per share in the six months to July. The total shareholder return for the period was 4.8% including the July dividend. The firm continues to invest, subscribing for a 30% cumulative preferred share holding in US specialist insurer SAGE as well as taking a further 15% stake in EC3 Brokers, taking its holding to 35% through a £1.5 million injection of capital. The Shares jumped 11% to 260p. Early stage investor IP Group rose 5.5% to 84.4p after portfolio company Oxford Nanopore Technologies raised an additional £84.4 million of new capital from existing and new investors. Call-center software provider Netcall rallied 4% to 50p, after it hiked its dividend 25% as higher sales underpinned an improvement in its underlying earnings. Power utility SSE firmed 1.7% to £13.5 on news that it had agreed to sell its 50% share in two energy-from-waste ventures to an infrastructure fund managed by First Sentier Investors for £995 million. SSE had in June identified the interests in the Multifuel Energy ventures as sales targets, as part of a £2 billion asset disposal strategy. Motor insurance provider Sabre Insurance fell 2.4% to 247p as it forecast lower sales, but said it had the balance-sheet strength to pay an 'attractive' final dividend. Sabre Insurance said its revenue for the year through December was still expected to fall around 10%, having dropped 9% in the nine months through September, an improvement from the 14% decline recorded for the first half. Real estate portal OnTheMarket dropped 3.6% to 97.9p despite swinging to a first-half profit after it boosted revenue, after cutting back on marketing costs. OnTheMarket said it expected to achieve a 'broadly breakeven' adjusted operating profit for the full year, amid a rise in second-half revenue and costs. Nanomaterials developer Nanoco fell 8.8% to 12.5p after posting a deeper annual loss after its revenue slumped following the cancellation of a key contract. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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