Markets report

Royal London in LV= talks | CEOs at Taylor Wimpey, Pets at Home


5pm: Markets tackle headwinds

The FTSE 100 index closed 57.07 points, or 0.8%, higher at 7,573.47 despite the likelihood of more interest rate rises in the UK and US.

Markets have taken the potential headwinds in their stride so that the prospect of further big falls may have diminished.

The mining sector led the risers with Rio Tinto up 2.8%, and Anglo American 2.1%.

“Miners were in demand as an ongoing inflationary environment should be positive for metal prices,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.

Sky Bet owner Flutter Entertainment topped the large cap index, rising 4.8% amid talk of a bid to run the UK’s National Lottery.

The travel sector was also on the up. British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group added 3.9%, budget carrier easyJet rose 3.6%, while Edinburgh-based cargo firm John Menzies jumped 13%.

Brent crude oil was quoted at $92.98 a barrel, down from $93.35 late Friday.

9.30am: Mixed markets

European equity markets kicked off the new week with a mixed performance, says Russ Mould of AJ Bell. The FTSE 100 moved 0.34% higher (25.3 points) to 7,541.69 while the Dax initially fared even better with a 0.8% gain although most of those gains quickly faded away. The joy was not shared in parts of Asia where the BSE Sensex slumped 2% and the Nikkei 225% fell 0.7%.

“There are plenty of reasons for investors to be cautious. Strong US jobs data last week might suggest the Fed pushes up rates faster and harder than currently expected. Ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Moscow also hang over markets like clouds waiting to unleash a fury of rain.

“The reaction to corporate earnings in the US has been somewhat volatile with extreme movements either up or down. Labour cost pressures remain a worry, and inflationary pressures are certainly darkening the outlook for both consumer and business spending.

“On the UK market, miners were in demand as an ongoing inflationary environment should be positive for metal prices.”

7.10am: Royal London in LV= talks

Royal London has confirmed that it has held exploratory discussions with LV= following the collapse of the Liverpool-based mutual’s acquisition by Bain Capital.

In a statement, the Royal London board said: “We note LV=’s announcement and we can confirm we have had initial, exploratory discussions with them. There is no certainty that these discussions will result in a transaction and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”

7am: Taylor Wimpey CEO

Taylor Wimpey has promoted Jennie Daly to CEO following the announcement on 8 December 2021 that Pete Redfern will be stepping down after more than 14 years service in the role.

Ms Daly is currently group operations director of Taylor Wimpey and a member of the board She has almost 30 years of experience in the housebuilding and land and planning industries. She joined Taylor Wimpey in 2014 from Redrow.

She will receive a salary of £750,000, plus £75,000 pension and a bonus opportunity of 150% of salary (£1.125m).

There is also Performance Share Plan award for 2022 of 200% of salary (£1.5m).

7am: Pets at Home CEO

Pets at Home Group has apppointed Lyssa McGowan as group chief executive with effect from 1 June. 

Ms McGowan, outgoing chief consumer officer at Sky UK, will succeed Peter Pritchard, who announced his intention last November.

In her previous role Ms McGowan had responsibility for a division with more than 10 million customers and achieving over $10bn of revenue.

She was a non-executive director of the board of Wm Morrison Supermarkets until its recent sale to CD&R. 

Global markets

Markets look likely to open in bullish mood after mainland China returned strongly from the lunar new year and better-than-expected US jobs numbers on Friday.

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