Market report

Greggs opens more outlets | oil price rise drives shares


10pm: US higher

Wall Street closed higher on the back of a strong rebound in growth stocks.

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet, Wall Street’s most valuable companies, each rose following a sell-off in growth stocks the day before.

Facebook rebounded after taking a beating when its app and its photo-sharing platform Instagram went offline for hours.

The S&P 500 gained 1.05%, while the Nasdaq Composite was 1.25% higher and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.93%.

5pm: London rebounds

London stocks bounced back from losses on Monday as fears of higher inflation and tapering from the US Federal Reserve were put on the back burner by investors.

The FTSE 100 index closed up 66.09 points, or 0.9%, at 7,077.10. 

Lloyds Banking Group was lifted by 3.5%, helped by a positive note from Credit Suisse, while Barclays, also in the Credit Suisse good books, was more than 3% better.

In the FTSE 250, Greggs ended the standout performer, up 11%, after the bakery chain lifted guidance.

Brent crude was trading at three-year highs, quoted at $82.87 a barrel at the close of the LSE.

3.30pm: JD Sports shares split

JD Spiorts in St James

JD Sports Fashion said it is recommending a five-for-one split in its ordinary shares to make their more easily tradeable.

The leisurewear retailer said its share price – 1072p this afternoon – has risen to a point where it is appropriate to recommend the change.

The move will result in shareholders holding five new ordinary shares for each existing one they currently hold.

“The board believes that the proposed sub-division would reduce the company’s share price to a level where smaller sized dealings in the shares would be more efficient and may improve the liquidity and marketability of the company’s shares,” it said.

8.10am: FTSE rises

The FTSE 100 opened 36 points higher at 7,046.82 as forecast on the back of higher oil prices.

8am: Phoenix to back Standard Life brand

Standard Life house

Phoenix Group has announced plans to invest in the Standard Life brand which it acquired in May this year.

Phoenix said the purchase of the Standard Life brand from Edinburgh-based Standard Life Aberdeen (now renamed Abrdn) was “strategically important” to the group.

Andy Curran, chief executive of Standard Life, said: “Standard Life is one of the most recognised names in life and pensions and we have ambitious investment plans built on its great heritage.”

Full story here

7am: Greggs opens stores


Greggs is to accelerate the pace of store openings despite admitting disruption from staff and ingredient shortages in the UK supply chain crisis.

In a boost for the high street and a sign of confidence in the return of office workers, the bakery chain, expects around 100 net shop openings in 2021.

It revealed a 3.5% rise in like-for-like sales in the third quarter of its financial year compared to pre-COVID crisis levels despite the headwinds facing the business including difficulty hiring new workers amid record vacancy levels.

Greggs said it benefited from “staycations” during August and that effect continued into September as more people returned to offices.

The board expects the full year outcome to be ahead of previous expectations.

7am: AMTE Power in gigafactory talks

AMTE Power, the Thurso-based a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery cells, said production expansion plans for a UK Gigafactory (initially 2GWh increasing to 10GWh and beyond over time) have made substantial progress – with Dundee in the running.

Full story here

Global markets oil price lifts FTSE 100

London was expected to shrug aside tumbles in New York and Asia and open higher on the back of surging commodity prices.

Brent oil was trading at $81.49 a barrel, softening from $81.85 late Monday but still trading around its best levels in three years after OPEC+ decided at a meeting to stick to planned moderate increases in output for November despite soaring crude prices.

Futures markets for Brent Crude are at three-year highs and West Texas Intermediate near seven-year highs.

Wall Street was more subdued. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9%, the S&P 500 was down 1.3% and Nasdaq Composite was 2.1% lower, dragged down by Facebook’s outage.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index fell 2.6%.Japanese business conditions continued to be disrupted by the latest rise in Covid-19 cases and subsequent restrictions during September.

Markets in Shanghai were closed for National Day Golden Week, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was flat.

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