Market report

Shares plunge |CMA probes Cobham bid | Menzies’ deal


4.30pm: Markets plunge

Shares in London plunged today as uncertainty gripped the markets. The FTSE 100 fell 110.46 points (1.54%) to 7,058.86 and the FTSE 250 was also sharply lower, down 229.50 points (0.96%).

Oil’s international benchmarks ,WTI and Brent Crude, plunged this morning by 3.01% and 2.51% respectively. The falls saw prices hit a three-month low.

Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, says: “Billions of pounds have been wiped off [the] blue-chip index and the FTSE 250 has also taken quite a beating.

“The why of it is multi-faceted, and much has been made of news that the Fed may be on the brink of tapering its economic support but looking at the difference between US and UK markets it seems COVID is the overwhelming issue of the day. 

“Commodities, energy producers and luxury goods makers are all amongst the biggest fallers as investors consider that global recovery may have shifted down another gear.

FTSE 100 today

“They’re also wondering how things will play out closer to home and that’s resulted in a knock-on for some consumer facing stocks like shopping centre owner Hammerson and Wagamama parent The Restaurant Group.

“Every step of the way confidence has been key, and uncertainty has unsettled today, particularly with several UK businesses pointing to concerns about rising prices in their earnings outlook.”

1pm: CMA to probe Cobham deal

The Competition and Markets Authority said it will investigate the proposed takeover of defence company Ultra Electronics by Cobham.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he had instructed the CMA to investigate the £2.57bn deal to assess any national security concerns.

Cobham, owned by US private equity company Advent, said on Monday a deal had been agreed with assurances to the UK government on security issues.

10am: Aggreko games deal

Birmingham 2022 has appointed Aggreko, the Scotland-based supplier of temporary power generation equipment, as the official modular energy solutions supporter for the Commonwealth Games.

Aggreko has operated at a number of international sporting events, most recently the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

9.30am: John Lewis enters wealth management

John Lewis Partnership is venturing into wealth management as it seeks ways of generating more revenue beyond its retail business.

Full story here

9.15am: Bank backs forestry fund

The Scottish National Investment Bank has committed £50 million over five years to new woodland and forestry management in Scotland.

Full story here

9am: London down on tapering

Investors sold stocks in early trade after minutes from the latest US Federal Reserve meeting pointed to a tapering of the stimulus measures.

The FTSE 100 was down 1.8% at 7,043.12 with miners taking the biggest hit as commodity prices fell. Financials, including AbrdnM&G and Phoenix Group were also down.

7am: Menzies deals in Central America and Oceania

Menzies Aviation

John Menzies, the global aviation services business, has further expanded into Central America with the acquisition of Interexpresso and has secured contract wins in the Oceania region. 

Menzies has acquired 51% of Interexpresso Costa Rica Corporación, an aviation service provider whose operations are based in San Jose, Costa Rica, with additional operations in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Menzies has secured new business with Virgin Australia in Australia. From mid-October Menzies will provide ground services at Darwin, Cairns and Queenstown and will also provide air cargo services at Darwin.  

7am: Calnex updates on chips

Calnex Solutions, the Linlithgow-based telecoms test and measurement company, said that despite the uncertainty in the wider industry over the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, the group has not experienced any negative impact on the ability to manufacture and ship product to date. The board continues to monitor the situation closely.

In an update ahead of today’s AGM it said it has continued to achieve strong trading and good order levels in the first quarter of FY22, in line with the board’s expectations.

Global markets

Equity markets were subdued following the US Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes which confirmed a move towards tapering of stimulus measures.

The FTSE 100 was expected to open lower after Wall Street moved downwards.

The Dow Jones dropped 1.08% and the S&P 500 slipped 1.07% while the Nasdaq lost 0.89%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.67% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 1.4% and the Shanghai Composite fell back by 0.24%.

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