Markets report

Pernod Ricard | St James’s Place | Scotgold | AJ Bell


4.30pm: Blue chips rise on Truss resignation

London’s blue chips picked up after Liz Truss’s resignation. The FTSE 100 closed at 6,943.9, up 18.92 points (0.27%).

In the energy market, Ovo Group is said to be preparing a last-minute bid to buy the failed supplier Bulb after a nationalisation process that has cost the taxpayer billions of pounds. The government is near to an agreement to sell Bulb to Octopus Energy.

NatWest (RBS) rose after announcing a strategic partnership with the Vodeno Group to create a banking-as-a-service business in the UK.

The partnership will enable businesses to embed financial services products such as payments, deposits, point-of-sale credit and merchant cash advances directly in their ecosystem by leveraging Vodeno’s BaaS technology, and NatWest’s banking technology and UK banking licences.

7am: St James’s Place

Wealth manager St James’s Place reported £4.05 billion of new client investments in the third quarter, marginally lower than the same period last year.

Andrew Croft, chief executive, said retention has remained “very strong’, supporting net inflows of £2.19 billion and contributing to funds under management closing the period at £143.14 billion.

“Our business has proven its strength over time and this, together with our resilient financial model, means that we expect 2022 to be another year of good progress towards the 2025 goals we have set, and we are comfortable with consensus expectations for new business and our financial performance for the year.”

7am: Pernod Ricard beats forecasts

Chivas Regal

French spirits maker Pernod Ricard, owner of whisky brands such as Ballantine’s and The Glenlivet, beat forecasts with an 11% growth in sales in the first quarter and said it was confident the trend would remain dynamic for the fiscal year.

The world’s second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo said the strong start to the year reflected price rises in the US and strong demand in China and in India on the back of a continued rebound in global travel retail.

“I am hugely encouraged by our start to the year,” chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard said.

7am: AJ Bell

Investment platform AJ Bell said customer numbers increased by 57,687 to close 16% up at 425,652 over the year to the end of September, and net inflows were £5.8 billion, with £1.2bn of net inflows in the last quarter alone.

Assets under administration closed the year down 2% at £64.1bn, with strong net inflows in the year offset by adverse market movements of 11%. During the year the FTSE All-Share Index fell by 7%, whilst the FTSE 250 Index fell by 25%

Michael Summersgill, chief executive, said: “Despite the challenging economic backdrop, our business model continues to perform exceptionally well.”

7am: Scotgold Resources

Phil Day, chief executive of Scotgold Resources, Scotland’s only gold mine, said the third quarter has been another period of substantial progress.

Q4 2022 production is anticipated to be ahead of Q2/Q3 2022 production levels.

“I believe the quarter will mark a significant step change,” he said.

7am: National Express

Transport operator National Express reported a jump in third-quarter revenues on Thursday as passenger journeys continue to recover, and said FY22 results were set to be broadly in line with expectations.

In the period from 1 July to 30 September, revenues rose 33% year-on-year and were ahead 5% versus 2019 levels at constant currency.

Global markets

Sterling continues to cling on to trading levels at about $1.12 following yesterday’s UK inflation figures.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong hit its lowest level in 13 years today, but was given a brief reprieve when unidentified sources said that China would consider changes to Covid-19 quarantine requirements when entering the country.

The Shanghai Composite was up 0.4%. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index was down 0.7%.

In the US, the Federal Reserve’s James Bullard indicated that a 75 basis points rise in interest rates was on the cards for the November meeting and that a similar hike is likely in December.

Wall Street ended lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.3%, the S&P 500 down 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite 0.9% lower.

President Joe Biden said that energy producing companies should refrain from paying dividends or buying back their own shares. Instead, he said that they should focus on increasing production.

Brent crude was trading at about $93 a barrel.

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