Market report

Petrofac recovers after plunge | Bunzl offloads healthcare


4.30pm: Petrofac shares revive after plunge

Shares in oil services company Petrofac fell nearly 9% after the company forecast a full-year EBIT loss in its engineering and construction (E&C) unit of about $190m for 2022, meaning a total group EBIT loss of around $100m.

The company said this reflected adverse commercial settlements, further unrecovered cost overruns in the legacy portfolio and cost increases on the Thai Oil Clean Fuel joint venture contract.

Shares recovered with the overall rise in the market in later trading and closed just 1.70p (2.35%) lower.

Investors showed little Christmas spirit in early trade with a bout of selling that left the FTSE 100 more than 50 points lower at 7,307.73 in the first half hour of trading, but the index crept back into positive territory and closed 9.31 points higher at 7,370.62.

International distribution group Bunzl said it was selling its UK healthcare division to Mediq and buying four other businesses.

The transactions are expected to be profit neutral to the group and will generate a small cash inflow. No financial details were disclosed.

Irn-Bru maker AG Barr has bought the remaining 38.2% stake in Moma Foods from founder Tom Mercer and the other minority shareholders for £3.4m.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have fined TSB Bank £48.65m following IT failures in 2018.

Global markets

Japan’s central bank tweaked its longstanding monetary easing programme on Tuesday, in a surprise decision that saw the yen strengthen quickly against the dollar, while the Tokyo stock market fell.

The change marks a rare shift for the dovish central bank, which has largely left its policy intact even as counterparts in other major economies hike rates to tackle inflation.

After a two-day policy meeting, the bank said it will widen the band in which it would allow rates for 10-year Japan government bonds to move, saying it would “improve market functioning”.

US markets also failed to get into the festive mood heading downwards for a fourth day in a row as investors continued to fret that higher interest rates will dent economic growth.

At the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.5%, the S&P 500 slipped 0.9%, to and the Nasdaq Composite declined 1.5%.

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