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FTSE 100 retreats; Frasers shares buyback; Yahoo, AOL sold


9.45pm: Wall St ends mixed

The Dow Jones closed 0.06% higher but the Nasdaq Composite suffered heavy losses, ending the session 1.88% lower on the back of a sell-off in tech stocks. FacebookAmazonAppleNetflix and Google-parent Alphabet all traded lower.

The S&P 500 closed out the session 0.67% weaker.

Analysts said the market may pick up towards the end of the week when employment figures are published.

5pm: FTSE 100 retreats

After a strong opening which saw blue chip stocks push back above 7,000, investors followed Wall Street lower.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comments that an interest rate rise would have to happen to stop the US economy from overheating merely accelerated the sell-off, said Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst.

The FTSE 100 index closed at 6,923.17, down 46.64 points (0.67%).

2.30pm: Wall Street lower

The main indices on Wall Street opened lower as investors drew breath after recent rises.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.22% while the S&P 500 dropped 0.54% and the Nasdaq fell 1.1%..

In London, the FTSE 100 lost some of its early momentum but was still up 17 points at 6,986.

8.45am: Blue chips defy predictions

London Stock Exchange

The FTSE 100 defied early, gloomy predictions to open firmly higher, up 40.7 points at 7,010.51, with investors keen on stocks they expect to benefit from a return to business as usual.

Lloyds Banking Group topped the risers with a 3.5% jump at the open. With the largest high street presence of all the major clearers, it stands to gain from the UK’s economic recovery.

British Airways owner IAG was up 3.9% ahead of its figures later this week and buoyed by hints that international travel corridors will be reopened.

Hotelier Whitbread, shopping centre owner British Land and builder Persimmon, up 3.6%, 3% and 2.2% respectively, are all seen as potential winners.

7am: Frasers starts buyback

House of Fraser Glasgow

Frasers Group, owner of House of Fraser, Sports Direct and Evans Cycles, said it has begun its buyback of up to £60 million of shares to reduce its share capital.

It is buying up to 10m shares from Tuesday up to the last day before it enters its closed period ahead of full year results.

7am: Dianomi pursues IPO

Dianomi, a provider of native digital advertising services in the financial services and business sectors, has announced an IPO on AIM. Admission is expected to take place later this month.

The company launched in 2003 and now operates from London, New York and Sydney.

Clients include seven of the world’s top 10 largest asset management companies, seven out of the top 10 of the largest wealth management firms in the US and half of the top 10 largest banks in the US.

It provides advertisers access to an international audience of 438 million devices per month through its partnerships with more than 300 premium publishers of business and finance content, including blue chip names such as Reuters, Bloomberg and WSJ.

In FY 2020, revenue was £28.43m, representing growth of 58.8% compared to FY19. The majority of the Group’s revenue is generated in the Americas.

Earnings before interest and taxation was £2.02m in FY20 having grown from £0.25m in FY19.

UK-India deal

Boris Johnson will host bilateral talks with India’s prime minister today, confirming a trade deal which experts suggest is worth £50-100 billion.

Full story here

Overnight markets

Asia’s share markets were mostly higher as equity investors looked to signs of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The more optimistic tone in Asia followed a stronger session on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% while the S&P 500 gained 0.27% with most of the gains concentrated in industrial and commodity shares.

The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.48% as technology stocks lagged the overall market.

AOL and Yahoo sold

Verizon is selling AOL and Yahoo as it exits the media business in a $5 billion deal with private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Verizon bought the two online giants for a combined $9 billion and will retain a 10% stake in the spin off.

The Verizon Media Group name will be changed to just Yahoo.

Verizon once had great plans to become a dominant player in the online media and ad business, but admitted that its plans to take on Amazon, Google and Facebook had not worked when it took a $4.6 billion write down in 2018.

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