Market report

Market dips after Truss speech | Tesco guidance | Vertu grows


4.30pm: Market dips on Truss speech

The FTSE 100 closed 33.84 points lower at 7,052.62, off its session lows.

The pound continued to slide, down to $1.1299, well below the level it was at before Liz Truss began speaking in Birmingham, as markets continue to wait for news of how the UK government’s proposed tax cuts will be funded.

Oil prices are heading higher on news that OPEC+ is recommending a 2m barrel a day cut in output.

The Bank of England chose not to buy any bonds yesterday under its emergency two-week operation to calm gilt markets, turning down offers from traders looking to sell £2.2 billion of debt.

Having bought only £22 million of UK government bonds on Monday, the latest lack of intervention suggests that the Bank has so far succeeded in halting a dramatic sell-off without having to spend anywhere near what it had originally set aside.

7am: Tesco guides to low end of profits range


Tesco said current year profits will be at the lower end of guidance as “significant uncertainties” continue to impact on consumer spending patterns.

The supermarket chain expects full-year retail adjusted operating profits of between £2.4bn and £2.5bn after statutory profits fell 64% to £413m in the six months ended 27 August. Adjusted operating profit came in 10% lower at £1.248 billion from a pandemic boosted £1.386bn last time.

However, the interim dividend is hiked 20.3% to 3.85p from 3.2p.

CEO Ken Murphy said: “Customers are seeking out the quality and value of our own brand ranges as they work to make their money go further.

“Despite ongoing challenges in the market, we are able to maintain our profit guidance within our previous range, albeit towards the lower end.”

7am: Vertu Motors

Vertu Motors expects its performance for the year to beat market predictions after revenue for the first half grew 3.9% to almost £2 billion.

The firm believes it is now the fourth largest car dealer by revenues with a network of 160 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK. It said it had a ‘strong acquisition pipeline’ in place. 

However, adjusted profit before tax came in at £28.2m against £51.8m last time.

Vertu said it would be upping its interim dividend of 70p per share, up for 65p, for the first half of 2022.

New and used car margins helped to boost the group’s results, despite supply issues.

Global markets

Major oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia were set to meet today as reports said they were mulling an output cut of up to two million barrels per day in a bid to prop up falling prices.

Wall Street stage a rally yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 2.8%, the S&P 500 closed 3.1% higher and the Nasdaq Composite closed 3.3% ahead.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.5%.

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