Pound hits FTSE 100 | Dr Martens profit eases | Kingfisher
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5pm: Higher pound
Blue chips barely moved as the FTSE 100 closed near flat because of the rising pound.
The FTSE 100 index finished around 1.36 points higher at 7,466.60.
The pound reached its highest levels against the dollar since the start of Liz Truss’ ill-fated premiership.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “A stronger pound hits the relative value of the FTSE 100’s largely overseas earnings but the reason for the dollar’s slide is a positive one for sentiment.
“Stocks made gains on Wall Street as the latest minutes from the US Federal Reserve provided the reassuring message investors wanted to hear – the pace of rate increases is set to slow from here.
“While there’s no suggestion the Fed will stop hiking interest rates anytime soon, the messaging at least allows markets to start to look forward to that point.”
Shares in shoe retailer Dr Martens plunged 20% after profits fell for the half year fall despite a 13% rise in sales growth and it said it expects lower profit margins for the full year.
Pre-tax profit came in at £57.9m from £61.3m in the previous year.
EBITDA was in line with H1 last year at £88.8m as it increased investment in new stores, marketing and people.
Confidence in the outlook led the board to propose an interim dividend of 1.56p, up 28%, taking the payout ratio to 35% of earnings.
It is maintaining revenue guidance of high-teens growth for the full year, on an actual currency basis.
Chief executive Kenny Wilson, said the company had delivered i“another strong set of results”, and the group had “further pricing headroom” for the Autumn/Winter collection “so we will offset cost inflation once again”.
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, was 1.5% off after it reported a slight improvement in third quarter like-for-like sales, reflecting strong demand for energy efficiency products.
Third quarter sales of £3.3bn were up 1.7% in constant currency and 0.2% like-for-like, an improved picture when compared to the 4.1% fall in the first half.
The FTSE 100 listed retailer also pointed to a good start to trading in the fourth quarter with three-year like-for-like growth of 16.2% and a 2.8% rise for the three weeks to 19 November 2022.”
But it lowered the top end of guidance for full-year 2023 adjusted pre-tax profit to a range of c.£730m to £760m.
DeepMatter Group, the Glasgow-based digital chemistry data and software company, is cancelling its shares and reverting to private ownership.
Energy price cap
Energy regulator Ofgem has announced that the energy price cap for the period 1 January – 31 March 2023 will rise to an annual level of £4,279 in January 2023.
However, households will not pay this amount as the cap has been superseded a government-backed price guarantee set at £2,500 for average consumption until the end of March 2023.
The price cap has been in place since January 2019, and it is a legislative requirement for Ofgem to regularly review the level at which it is set.
Packaging company Macfarlane expects its results for 2022 to be ahead of last year and in line with its full year expectations.
London was expected to open lower despite gains in US markets after the release of the Federal Open Markets Committee minutes was viewed positively.
The November policy meeting showed “a substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate.”
Wall Street closed higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending up 0.3%, the S&P 500 up 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite up 1.0%.
US markets are closed today for the Thanksgiving holiday, with a shortened trading day on Friday.