Market report

Mitchells & Butlers cuts loss | Macfarlane | Omega | Menzies


5pm: Market rises again

The UK’s blue-chip benchmark finished up around 24 points at 7,310 as European markets benefiting from any volatility on Wall Street which was closed for Thanksgiving Day.

Hospitality firms helped the FTSE 100 extend its winning streak into a fourth day.

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, ended as one of the best performers, up 2.8%, following an upbeat note from Jefferies.

It said: “As we move from lockdowns through pent-up demand and on to vaccine-led normalisation we expect a churn in investor attention by the leisure sub-sector. Encouraging data puts the focus on hotels for 2022.”

Compass shares were up 3% to 1581p after Morgan Stanley set a price target of 1800p for the catering company.

Vodafone led the fallers, down 3.65% after its shares went ex-dividend.

Brent oil was quoted at $81.92 a barrel at the London equities close Thursday, pulling back from $82.73 late Wednesday.

9.30am: Drinks in focus

Diageo has been enjoying a strong rally since September and on Thursday was once again the biggest contributor to the FTSE 100.

Investors have been warming to the recovery story as it enjoys greater sales from pubs, restaurants and hotels now that many Covid restrictions have been lifted, says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“Helping to drive shares in Diageo was positive read-across from Remy Cointreau whose shares jumped 9.4% after reporting stronger than expected first half results including operating margins at a new all-time high.

“While there is a growing trend for more people not to drink alcohol, there is also a shift with others preferring more premium spirits which is playing to Diageo and Remy Cointreau’s strengths.”

Year to date Diageo’s share price is up by 33%, meaning it has achieved three times the returns from the FTSE 100 in 2021.

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