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London stocks drift lower | FirstGroup disposal


4.45pm: London stocks drift lower

Housebuilders PersimmonBarratt and Taylor Wimpey lost ground amid worries about rising interest rates.

After a confident start, the FTSE 100 drifted as nervousness creeps into the markets ahead of the decision by the US Federal Reserve tomorrow and the Bank of England on Thursday.

A 75 basis points rise is expected in the US. There is an expectation that the Bank of England will follow with a 50 bps rise, with an outside chance it could match the Fed.

The FTSE 100 closed 44.02 points lower at 7,192.66..

8.15am: London opens higher

The FTSE 100 is up 65.37 points or 09% at 7302.05

B&Q owner Kingfisher edged up 0.69% despite posting pre-tax profits for the six months to 31 July down by a third to £474m, while like-for-like sales were down 4.1% to £6.8bn.

Kingfisher also stated it now expects full-year adjusted pre-tax profits of £730.0m to £770.0m.

8am: Opulus acquisition

Opulus Financial has acquired the Glasgow-based accountancy firm, Nicolson Accountancy, representing the largest acquisition since launching as a Chief Financial Officer Solutions business at the end of last year.  Full story here

7am: Springfield suspension


Housebuilder Springfield Properties has put its affordable housing contracts and expansion into the private rented sector on hold as it awaits clarification on the Scottish Government’s rent freeze policy. Full story here

7am: FirstGroup sells Greyhound business

FirstGroup has sold all but two of its remaining Greyhound US properties to Twenty Lake Management, an affiliate of Twenty Lake Holdings, for net proceeds of c.$140m.

The deal is expected to close and the proceeds received in cash in December 2022. In addition to the portfolio sale, the Group also completed the sale of a site in Denver for net $9m in August, with some of the proceeds being applied in further de-risking of the residual Greyhound pensions liabilities.

7am: Craneware

Healthcare billing company Craneware said recent acquisitions had been successfully integrated into the group with revenue more than doubling (119%) to $165.5 million (FY21: $75.6m).

Adjusted EBITDA increased 91% to $51.8m (FY21: $27.1m) while statutory profit before tax came in static at $13.1m (FY21: $13.2m) reflecting increased operating profit offset by amortisation of acquired intangibles and bank interest payments resulting from the Sentry Data Systems acquisition. Full story here

7am: Ashley to leave Frasers board

Mike Ashley will step down as a director of Frasers after this year’s Annual General Meeting on 19 October but will continue to act in an advisory capacity when called upon. Full story here

Global markets

Wall Street clawed back some of last week’s heavy losses to close higher despite expectations that this week’s meetings of the Federal Reserve and Bank of England will result in further interest rate hikes.

Despite the expected hikes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.64% at Monday’s, while the S&P 500 was 0.69% firmer and the Nasdaq Composite ended the session 0.76% stronger. Full story here

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