Market report

Tesco feels squeeze | Yorkshire, James Fisher moves


5pm: Markets remain bearish

After trading in positive territory for most of the day, the FTSE 100 turned negative and dipped below 7,000 at one stage, closing down 28.73 points at 7,016.25.

2.45pm: Wall Street reverses losses

US markets have opened higher after yesterday’s rout.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2% and the S&P 500 rose 0.5% while the Nasdaq Composite bounced into a 1.0% lift.

8.30am: London opens higher

The FTSE 100 followed yesterday’s rout with a tentative return into positive territory, up 12 points at 7,057.10.

7am: Online underpins sales at Tesco

Tesco worker

Tesco said UK sales for the 13 weeks to 28 May were up 8.1% at £9.9 billion compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, driven by a 55% rise in online sales over the period.

However, like-for-like sales on the same period last year fell 1.5%.

CEO Ken Murphy said it is seeing some belt-tightening among consumers as the cost of living bites into the household food shop.

“Whilst the market environment remains incredibly challenging, our laser focus on value, as well as the daily dedication and hard work of our colleagues, has helped us to outperform the market,” he said.

“Although difficult to separate from the significant impact of lapping last year’s lockdowns, we are seeing some early indications of changing customer behaviour as a result of the inflationary environment. 

“Customers are facing unprecedented increases in the cost of living and it is therefore even more important that we work with our supplier partners to mitigate as much inflation as possible.”

7am: Gatwick cuts flights

Gatwick Airport is reducing the number of daily flights during the summer in an attempt to tackle staffing issues.

The south of London airport will limit daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August compared to 900 during the same time period in previous years. One report says this equates to 4,000 cancelled flights affecting 800,000 travellers.

Gatwick said the decision follows a review of its operations and that it is “temporarily moderating its rate of growth” for two months to help passengers “experience a more reliable and better standard of service”.

7am: Yorkshire changes

Yorkshire Building Society has announced that Alasdair Lenman has been appointed interim chief executive with immediate effect and that Robert Purdy has been appointed interim chief finance officer.

Stephen White, who has been acting as interim CEO, will leave the society to take up a new role with Santander.

7am: James Fisher CEO

Marine services group James Fisher and Sons has appointed Jean Vernet as chief executive from 5 September at which point Eoghan O’Lionaird will step down from his position on the board and as CEO. Mr O’Lionaird will remain employed by the group until 13 June 2023, to ensure a smooth and effective transition of responsibility.

Mr Vernet has considerable experience working in the offshore energy sector around the world. Most recently, he was CEO of Smiths Group’s largest division, John Crane. Her spent five years as CFO of Expro, the offshore energy services provider, during which he played a key role in its successful turnaround.

Global markets

The stock market rout spilled over into the US, though Asia was mixed after following a week of interest rate hikes.

The yen fell sharply after Japan’s central bank kept its ultra-low interest rates on hold as policy makers around the world hike the cost of borrowing to tackle rising prices.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) also said it will continue its programme of buying huge amounts of government bonds.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was off 1.5%), but the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was in recovery mode, rising 1.1%.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 plummeted 3.3% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 2.4%.

The Bank of England raised its main interest rate from 1% to 1.25%, pushing it to the highest level in 13 years.

That came after the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced its biggest rate rise in nearly 30 years as it increased rates by three-quarters of a percentage point to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%.

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