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FTSE 100 closes just shy of 7000; Deliveroo growth to slow


4.30pm: London closes in on threshold

The FTSE 100 was within 5 points of returning to 7,000 today, before closing 43.92 points higher at 6,983.50.

3pm: Adam & Co division sold

Canadian wealth manager Canaccord Genuity agreed to acquire the wealth management business of Adam & Co from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Full story here

10.30am: Hillington development

The former site of the Rolls-Royce engine factory at Hillington Park, Glasgow, will be revived as a major hub of industry under a £14m redevelopment project.  

Full story here

8.30am: London edges higher

Stocks edged higher in early trade, underpinned by a solid showing in the mining sector and well-received updates from Entain and AO World.

B&Q owner Kingfisher was the top gainer on the FTSE 100, however, after an upgrade to ‘neutral’ from Citigroup.

Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins rallied after it posted like-for-like sales growth of 17% for the first quarter, excluding Wickes (see below).

The FTSE 100 was up 0.4% at 6,963.53.

7am: Deliveroo sees slower growth


Food delivery company Deliveroo warned its rate of growth could slow as lockdown eases.

In its maiden statement as a public company the food delivery business said growth accelerated for the fourth consecutive quarter, with group orders up 114% year-on-year to 71m, but founder Will Shu warned it is likely to slow.

The monthly active consumer base has grown 91% year-on-year to 7.1 million monthly active consumers on average in Q1 2021.

Full year and gross profit margins will come in at between 7.5% to 8%.

Mr Shu said: “We are delighted with the Deliveroo Q1 results. Demand has been strong in both the UK&I and International markets driven by record new consumer growth and sustained engagement from our existing consumers.

“This is our fourth consecutive quarter of accelerating growth, but we are mindful of the uncertain impact of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. So while we are confident that our value proposition will continue to attract consumers, restaurants, grocers and riders throughout 2021, we are taking a prudent approach to our full year guidance.”

Shares in the company have traded 30% lower since its disappointing initial public offering, with investors raising questions over the company’s gig worker model and dual-class share structure.

7am: Shell energy transition

Shell said it intends to reduce the number of refineries from 13 sites today to six high-value chemicals and energy parks, and reduce production of traditional fuels by 55% by 2030 as part of its energy transition strategy.

The company will produce chemicals from recycled waste, and by 2025 aim to process 1 million tonnes a year of plastic waste. It aims to increase cash generation from chemicals by $1-2 billion a year by 2030.

The number of electric vehicle charging points globally will increase from about 60,000 today to more than 500,000 by 2025 and to 2.5 million by 2030. That is about 7% of the total number of public and private charge points expected in Europe alone by 2030, according to research by Bloomberg.

Shell said planned capital investment of $8 billion in its upstream oil and gas business in the near term is well below the investment level required to offset the natural decline in production of its oil and gas reservoirs, and will not sustain current levels of production.

As a result of this planned level of capital investment, it expects a gradual decline of about 1-2% a year in total oil production through to 2030, including divestments.

The company has urged shareholders to reject a resolution calling for tougher action at its annual general meeting on 18 May.

7am: Travis Perkins positive

Building services group Travis Perkins posted Q1 like-for-like sales growth of 17.4% and 11.8% on a 2 year like-for-like basis.

Trading in Wickes shares is due to commence on 28 April and the Travis Perkins share consolidation to be effective following market close that day with trading in new Travis Perkins shares commencing on 29 April.

7am: Hut Group

The Hut Group has incurred an operating loss for the last financial year due to a series of “non-recurring, non-cash events”, most notably linked to its IPO during the period.

Overnight markets

The FTSE 100 is expected to open higher and test the 7000 mark.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones edged 0.16% or 53 points higher, while the S&P 500 was 0.4% lower. The Nasdaq gave up nearly 1% despite the impressive debut of crypto exchange Coinbase.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei was practically flat while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell close to 1% and the Shanghai Composite was down 0.9% following sluggish Chinese data.

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