Market report

Ted Baker up on sale talk | Ryanair narrows loss forecast


5pm: Ted Baker shines in buoyant market

Shares in high street retailer Ted Baker closed 18.40p (14.35%) higher at 146.3p after it launched a formal sale process.

In a statement it said: “The board has decided to conduct an orderly process to establish whether there is a bidder prepared to offer a value that the Board considers attractive relative to the standalone prospects of Ted Baker as a listed company.”

Airlines faced a bumpy start to the week as chaos ripped through the travel industry. Shares in BA-owner IAG slid early on, but edged up later by 0.4% to 141.8p. However, easyJet was down 0.2% to 553.8p.

The FTSE 100 index ended 21.02 points higher at 7,558.92, with higher oil prices lifting heavyweight energy stocks in London.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG commented: “Q2 has got off to a good start, continuing the rebound that began in the final month of Q1. The issues that dogged markets of throughout the end of 2021 and into 2022 remain with us, but once again stocks have demonstrated their remarkable ability to come storming back.”

Housebuilders rose after ministers hinted they may water down demands for them to pay into a £4billion cladding remediation fund. Persimmon, saw its shares rise 2.9%, or 62p, to 2210p. Barratt Developments was up 3% or 15.4p, to 533.6p, Taylor Wimpey rose 2.7% or 3.55p, to 134.8p and Berkeley Group rose 3.2% or 20p, to 3848p.

On Wall Street, Twitter shares jumped 25% after Tesla boss Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, bought a 9.2% stake.

7am: Aviva appoints CFO

Insurance group Aviva has appointed Charlotte Jones as chief financial officer and executive director with effect from 5 September.

Full story here

7am: Ryanair narrows expected loss

Ryanair said it has narrowed its expected pre-exceptional net loss for the year to the end of March to between €350m and €400m (previously guided range of €250m to €450m). 

This follows strong recovery in the group’s full-year traffic to more than 97m (27.5m in FY21, but below pre-Covid traffic of 149m).

The Irish airline reports full year results on 16 May.

Wizz Air said it carried 2,476,105 passengers in March, representing a 416% increase compared to March 2021, at a load factor of 86.2%.

7am: Skipton hires interim CEO

Skipton Building Society has appointed Ian Cornelius as interim group chief executive from 26 April.

Currently the Society’s commercial and strategy director, Mr Cornelius will move into the role following January’s announcement that current Group CEO, David Cutter, will leave the Society after almost 30 years on 25 April.

7am: Artisanal shares purchase

Helen Page, non-executive director of the Artisanal Spirits Company, the owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, has acquired 27,027 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 74p pence share, representing approximately 0.04% of the company’s issued share capital. 

Global markets

Market traders were focused on talk of more sanctions against Russia that could sent energy prices soaring.

Reports of Russian atrocities led Germany to lead calls for the West to take firmer action, including a ban on imports of Russian gas that would force prices even higher and potentially force energy rationing in Europe.

Data last week showed inflation in the EU had already surged to a record high, piling pressure on the European Central Bank to take a more cautious approach to raising rates.

The US Federal Reserve has already raised rates and is likely to impose further hikes of 50bps in May, June, and July.

Oil slid 13% last week – the biggest weekly fall in two years after US President Joe Biden announced the largest-ever release of the country’s oil reserves.

Brent crude was trading up 32 cents to $104.71, while US crude added 22 cents to $99.49.

Japan’s Nikkei added 0.1%, while S&P 500 stock futures and Nasdaq futures were flat.

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