Markets: Close

Markets dip on rates concerns | Brooks Macdonald


5pm: Markets remain jumpy

After opening 40 points higher, the FTSE 100 fell into negative territory at the opening of Wall Street and managed to close just 4.77 points ahead at 7,282.07.

Analysts expect markets to remain volatile in the run-up to key interest rate decisions in the UK and US next week.

In London, shares in online retailer Ocado rebounded after a disappointing few sessions. The stock closed up 3.5%.

Builder Redrow finished 3.7% higher after it raised its dividend but saw annual profit decline as it booked one-off costs related to a UK government pledge surrounding fire safety measures.

Wickes was up 9.5%. as the home improvement retailer backed its full-year guidance on solid interim revenue growth.

7am: Macfarlane NXD

Packaging company Macfarlane Group has appointed retailer Laura Whyte as a non-executive director with effect from 1 October.

Full story here

7am: Parkmead invests in North Sea

Parkmead Group will increase its interest in the Skerryvore prospects in the Central North Sea, where UK authorities have approved plans for the drilling of a new exploration well.

Full story here

7am: Shell confirms CEO departure

Shell has announced that Ben van Beurden will step down as chief executive at the end of 2022, and that his successor will be Wael Sawan, director of integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions.

Full story and reaction here

7am: John Lewis loss

The John Lewis Partnership, which comprises the department store chain and Waitrose supermarkets, posted a loss of £99m for the half-year to 30 July.

It said the loss reflected its decision to shield shoppers from some of its rising costs during the period and a one-off cost of living support payment for full-time staff, known as partners, of £500.

Full story here

7am: Brooks Macdonald

Wealth manager Brooks Macdonald has posted a record underlying profit of £34.5m for the year to the end of June

The firm attracted £800m of net inflows, up 4.8% for the year.

The total dividend increased by 12.7% to 71p.

7am: Wickes sees record sales

DIY group Wickes said like-for-like sales for the 26 weeks to 2 July were up 0.8%, and 23.4% on a three-year basis, though it had seen some softening in the DIY market from the very high levels of demand experienced during the pandemic.

Adjusted profit before tax slipped to £45.6m (H1 2021 £46.5m).

The board declared an interim dividend of 3.6p (H1 2021 2.1p), reflecting its intention to maintain the same full year cash dividend as FY 2021.

David Wood, chief executive, commented: “While market volumes have declined, we have made further market share gains and delivered a particularly strong performance in trade.”

Global markets

Wall Street had a mixed session with the Dow reversing its earlier losses after the major US indices wrapped up August in the red.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.46%, clawing back some of the losses it recorded on Wednesday after a weaker-than-expected reading on the US jobs market.

The S&P 500 added 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.26%.

Oil prices fell to levels not seen since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

The NYMEX quote for West Texas Intermediate was last down 0.18% at $86.45 per barrel, while Brent crude futures were unchanged at $92.36.

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