Daily Business Live
WeWork soars on IPO debut | retail sales fall | IHG up
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5pm: Market closes higher
The FTSE 100 index closed up 14.25 points, or 0.2%, at 7,204.55 on Friday – but lost 0.4% for the week overall.
JD Sports Fashion closed up 1.9% after the athletic apparel retailer bought a majority stake in Crete-based Cosmos Sport.
InterContinental Hotels Group lost 2.9% even after the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza owner said its trading continues to improve significantly, with its revenue per available room creeping closer towards pre-pandemic levels.
J Sainsbury closed down 1% after the supermarket chain decided to retain its banking arm after having spoken with possible buyers.
9am: Market defies retail fall
The FTSE 100 was trading 28.37 points higher at 7,218.67 despite weak retail figures (see below).
Richard Hunter, head of markets at interactive investor, said consumers continued to snub the high street “in favour of an escalating trend of socialising which has become a factor since the easing of lockdown restrictions”.
Ironically, on the day its online operations were hit by a technical glitch (see below), London Stock Exchange Group was up 1.6% at 8,084p, on a third-quarter trading update.
The exchange boasted of a strong performance across all divisions driving a 7.6% growth in total income and gross profit growth of 7.3%.
Sainsbury’s was down 2p on news about its bank division. AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson said: “Sainsbury’s disappointed the market with the news that it is ending talks over a sale of its bank division.
“A more streamlined Sainsbury’s might have made more sense as a bid target, and there has been significant speculation on this front since the takeover of rival grocer Morrisons.”
Miners were once again in doldrums. Rio Tinto and BHP Group were both lower.
8.05am: LSE site hit
The London Stock Exchange has been hit by technical issues and market data was not available on the site.
“We are investigating a technical issue on www.londonstockexchange.com. Market data is not displaying as expected,” the company said in a message.
7.30am: Retail sales fall
Customers buying fewer household goods and furniture saw retail sales fall for the fifth month in a row in September, despite Covid restrictions easing in the summer.
Sales dipped by 0.2%, following a 0.6% drop in August, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Fuel sales rose by 2.9% as motorists returned and shortages caused panic buying.
7am: Sainsbury’s Bank interest
Sainsbury’s said it is no longer in talks over the sale of its Edinburgh-based bank.
In a statement to the market it said it had received some expressions of interest in a possible acquisition but talks had now ended.
7am: Intercontinental Hotels Group
Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza owner Intercontinental Hotels Group, also owner of the George in Edinburgh, said it had seen a significant improvement in trading during the third quarter.
Keith Barr, CEO, said: “RevPAR (revenue per available room) recovered closer towards pre-pandemic levels as more and more guests returned to our hotels around the world.
“Domestic leisure demand was particularly strong in a number of markets over the summer, where occupancy and rate climbed back to 2019 levels.
“Discretionary business travel, group bookings and international trips have also shown increasingly encouraging signs, on top of continuing good levels of essential business demand.”
Global markets – WeWork IPO, PayPal linked to Pinterest
Shares in office sharing company WeWork soared on its debut on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, two years after it was forced to withdraw its plans for an IPO.
Co-founder Adam Neumann partied with early employees as the flotation through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) handed him a $1 billion windfall.
Shares in the company closed up 13.49% at $11.78, giving the company a $9.3 billion market capitalisation. Two years ago it was valued at $47bn.
The company — founded in 2010 by Neumann, 42, and Miguel McKelvey, 47 — has 851 locations in 152 cities, including Edinburgh.