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Crover crowdfund; Enquest placing; Voyager debut

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5pm: London lower

Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said markets are still trying to work out the direction of policy on Covid easing.

“Both the FTSE 100 and 250 seemed to be wrestling with the peculiar impasse the country seems to be at,” she said in a closing market report. 

“Are we on track for 19 July or not? Are support measures coming to an end too quickly? Is recovery about to hit a great big wall?

“Looking at the mixed bag of risers and fallers you’d be forgiven for scratching your head on which way investors are leaning. 

“The Compass Group, British Land and Whitbread, all potential “Freedom Day” winners are up.  Cineworld and SSP which you would expect to be similarly positioned, both down.”

The FTSE 100 index closed 50.08 points, or 0.7% lower at 7,037.47, though it is 8.9% up since the start of the year.

Dixons Carphone rose 5.9% as it resumed dividend payments on a strong year for online sales (see below) as the pandemic forced shops to close.


11am: Grain tester raising funds

Crover, an Edinburgh based start-up and developer of a robotic cereal testing device, has announced its first funding round through Crowdcube, the equity crowdfunding platform.

The company has already raised more than £600,000 in innovation prizes and grants from organisations such as Converge, Scottish Enterprise and Innovate UK.

It is now seeking to raise at least £150,000 in equity to begin small series manufacturing, that will help with the set-up of additional pilots in the UK, EU, and potentially the US by next year.


10.30am: Edrington slides

Edrington, the Famous Grouse and Macallan whisky producer, posted a “material decline” in revenue and profit for the year.

Full story here


9am: London market fails to share Euros joy

Investors failed to share the joy across the capital after England’s success at Wembley, instead turning their attention to the recent jump in coronavirus infections in the UK, and the impact on the economy.

A further 20,479 cases were reported on Tuesday, the second consecutive day with more than 20,000 cases.

The FTSE 100 slipped 13.07 points or 0.18% at 7074.48. Even so, the index is on course for its fifth straight month of gains, its best performance since 2016.

Nigel Green, chief executive of financial advisory group deVere said global stocks are headed for their second-best performance since 1998 for the first half of this year and the bull run could continue for the rest of the year.

However, travel stocks were again marked lower on Covid concerns.

“British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines continued its losing streak as investors worried about the ability for the aviation sector to make money this year. Its shares have now fallen by 17% in the past month,” said Russ Mould at AJ Bell.

Rolls-Royce, which makes the jet engines for major airlines such as IAG, was off 1.3% in the early exchanges.

Holiday stocks TUI and Carnival were also marked down.


8am: Voyager debuts on Aquis

Voyager Life, the Scotland-based health and wellness company established to supply Cannabidiol and hemp seed oil products, debuted on the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market today.

This follows a placing and subscription of shares priced at 58 pence per share, valuing the company at the issue price at £5.4 million.

The issue has raised gross proceeds of £400,000.

The directors of Voyager believe that Admission to AQSE will enhance the company’s profile and status, provide liquidity for shareholders, as well as providing a platform for raising additional funds to support its expansion plans.


7am: Stagecoach

Bus operator Stagecoach said it is planning for a future where there is a mix of home and office working and a more diverse use of transport for individual journeys.

Full story here


7am: Enquest placing

Oil explorer Enquest is raising £36.1 million ($50m) in a placing and open offer to part-fund its $325m acquisition of a 26.69% stake in the Golden Eagle Area Development, comprising the producing Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Solitaire fields in the North Sea.

The issue price of 19p represents an 8.7% discount to the closing price of 20.8p on 29 June.


7am: Dixons Carphone

Currys PC World Dixons

Dixons Carphone has reinstated its dividend after swinging back to profit in the year to 1 May.

The company posted pre-tax profits of £33m compared to a £140m loss a year earlier.

Group revenue rose 2% to £10.3bn, offset by Carphone Warehouse closures in March, but online electrical sales more than doubled to £4.7bn. The company has proposed a final dividend of 3p a share.

Dixons, which also owns the Currys and PC World chains, added that the start to the financial year has seen continued strong trading.

Alex Baldock, group chief executive, said: “The start of the financial year has seen continued strong trading in all our markets and I’m more confident than ever in our prospects.”


7am: Simec Atlantis Energy

SIMEC Atlantis Energy, the global developer, owner and operator of sustainable energy projects reduced losses for the year to 31 December 2020 to £19.4 million (2019: £35.4m).

The decreased loss is due to the revenue generated by the ATES division along with full year results of GHR being included in group results since acquisition in October 2019.


Northern Ireland meat extension

The EU is this afternoon expected to confirm a three-month extension of the grace period for chilled meats entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, such meats, including sausages and mince, are due to be banned if entering from Britain.

An initial six-month grace period delaying the ban, agreed by both sides last December, is due to expire at midnight tonight.

The issue has become a focus of the deeper tensions over how the protocol is being implemented.


Global markets

The FTSE 100 is expected to maintain the positive momentum from Wall Street after closing 15 points higher at 7,087.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both closed up just 0.03% while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.19%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was 0.05% higher while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.15%.

The pound was up 0.1% against the dollar at $1.385, ahead of the release of UK GDP data.



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