Market report

ITV rebounds | Barclays | Rathbone | St James’s Place

5pm: London clings to gains

The FTSE 100 index closed up 20.55 points, or 0.3%, at 7,016.6, while the FTSE 250 enjoyed an even better day, closing 129.44 points, or 0.6%, higher.

St James’s Place, up 5.6%, was among the biggest gainers as the wealth manager returned to profit and reported funds under management climbed 11% to a record £143.77 billion (see below).

Barclays got the banking season under way with a 2% rise following a sharp profit hike, boosted by a release of credit impairment provisions. It also announced plans for a £500 million buyback.

Travel stocks rallied on plans for England to let fully vaccinated US and EU travellers skip the need to quarantine.

British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines rose 3.8% and jet engine maker Rolls-Royce rose 3.5%. In the FTSE 250, Wizz Air soared 8% and easyJet 4.6%.

Markets turn attention to the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee which will announce any changes to policy at 7pm BST. This will be followed by a press conference with Fed chairman Jerome Powell.

9.30am: Tidal milestone

The most powerful tidal turbine device in the world has connected to the grid in Orkney.

Orbital Marine Power’s O2 tidal turbine is anchored in the Fall of Warness where a subsea cable connects the two-megawatt offshore unit to the local onshore electricity network.

Full story here

9am: London edges higher

The FTSE 100 edged back above 7,000 in the first hour of trading, up 5.4 points at 7,001.45.

7am: ITV on rise

ITV said it was emerging from the worst of the pandemic, with a strong rise in advertising revenue and a restoration of its dividend.

The first payout under the new policy would be a final dividend of 3.3p per share proposed at the full year results in respect of 2021.

Total ITV viewing was down 6% in H1 against tough comparatives and the easing of lockdown restrictions but it saw strong ratings from programmes including Unforgotten, Saturday Night TakeAway, The Masked Singer, Euro 2020 and the start of Love Island.

External revenue was up 27% at £1,548 million (30 June 2020: £1,218 million), driven by 26% growth in ITV Studios revenue and a 29% increase in total advertising revenue within which total video on demand advertising was up 55%.

Adjusted group EBITA was up 98% at £327m, driven by the strong recovery in the advertising market, resumption of productions, and tight cost control delivering £21m of savings, of which £15m are permanent.

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