Aston Martin losses rise | BA back in black
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4.30pm: Stocks rise
Blue chip shares rose strongly in afternoon trade, buoyed by a positive read from NatWest‘s figures and rising stocks on Wall Street where there was some relief in the ‘not so bad’ Fed statement.
The FTSE 100 closed 78.18 points higher at 7,423.43, off the day’s high of 7441.2.
Shares in NatWest ended the session 18.6p (8.09%) higher at 248.9p as investors warmed to its half-year statement which included a special dividend.
10.30am: Eurozone inflation rises
Annual inflation in the eurozone’s 19 countries rose to 8.9%, from 8.6% in June, according to figures from the European Union statistics agency.
Inflation has been running at its highest level since 1997 when record-keeping for the euro began.
Energy prices surged by 39.7% while food prices rose by 9.8% and other goods by 4.5%.
10am: NatWest leads blue chips
NatWest shares were up 7.3% at 246.8p, making it the best large-cap performer, following a better-than-expected set of results and a special dividend.
Leading shares rose at the open and managed to hold to gains, with the FTSE 100 trading about 40 points higher at 7,385.89.
9am: MAM acquired
Investec Wealth & Investment has acquired Edinburgh-based Murray Asset Management.
7am: Aston Martin sees increased losses
Luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagonda reported increased losses but said it has seen strong demand across its product lines with GT/Sports cars fully sold out into 2023 and DBX orders more than 40% higher year-on-year.
It posted a 137% rise in half-year operating losses to £90m from £38m and said it included a £47m year-on-year increase in depreciation and amortisation.
The loss before tax came in at £285m from £90.7m, driven by a £134m negative non-cash FX revaluation impact.
First half revenues increased 9% year-on-year and it is on track to deliver its medium-term targets.
7am: BA owner returns to profit
British Airways owner, International Consolidated Airlines Group, returned to profit for the first time since the pandemic in the second quarter, it said in a statement today.
It posted a pre-tax profit of €73m for the second quarter, up from a loss of more than €1.12bn in the equivalent period of 2021.
Operating profits before exceptional items came in at €287mln in the quarter, compared with a loss of €1.04bn.
The group, which also includes Iberia, reduced its first-half pre-tax loss by 63.9% to € 843m, down from €2.33bn.
IAG’s chief executive Luis Gallego, said: “In the second quarter we returned to profit for the first time since the start of the pandemic following a strong recovery in demand across all our airlines.
“This result supports our outlook for a full-year operating profit. Our performance reflected a significant increase in capacity, load factor and yield compared to the first quarter.”
The group’s revenues soared 323% to €9.35bn in the first half of the year, up from €2.21bn in the first six months of 2021.
Overall passenger revenue increased nearly seven-fold to €7.6bn, as the group hit 72% of overall pre-pandemic capacity, up from 20.8% in the first half of 2021.
7am: NatWest (RBS) ahead of forecast
NatWest, trading as Royal Bank of Scotland north of the border, has announced a 3.5p per share interim dividend and a special dividend of 16.8p per share, with a share consolidation.
The bank announced better than expected pre-tax profits of £2.6 billion for the six months to June, from £2.3bn in the previous year and ahead of the £2.2bn average of analyst forecasts compiled by the bank.
Global markets – Amazon and Apple beat forecasts
Investors responded positively as Amazon and Apple posted better than expected sales.
Amazon’s $121 billion sales in the last quarter beat sales estimates, and revenue climbed to $5.7bn at its cloud-computing platform Amazon Web Services. It was rewarded with a 12% jump in its shares in after-hours trading.
Product sales at Apple totalled $63.4bn, a drop from the same period a year earlier, but the dip was more than made up for by services revenue that climbed to $19.6 billion. Its shares rose 3%.
Apple’s profits dropped almost 11% from a year ago to $19.4bn (£15.9bn), as it wrestled with Covid-19 lockdowns in China, while Amazon lost $2bn, hit by changes to the value of its investment in electric carmaker Rivian Automotive.
Amazon forecast in a trading update that higher fees for its Prime membership would boost its bottom line, while Apple said demand for its all-important iPhone remained strong.
Both firms said they were making progress controlling running costs, despite prices rising at rapid rates.
New data showed the US slipped into a technical recession after the US economy shrunk for the second quarter in a row, a milestone that in many countries would be considered an economic recession. The US uses additional data to determine that outcome.
US stocks rallied for a second day, with all three major indexes ending up more than 1%.
Stocks had rallied in the previous session when the Fed raised rates and comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell eased some worries about the pace of rate hikes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.03%, the S&P 500 gained 1.21%, and the Nasdaq Composite added or 1.08%, its biggest two-day percentage gain since 27 May.