Markets: Live

Robertson ‘positive’ | NatWest shares extension


8.30am: London higher

The FTSE 100 was trading 36 points higher at 7,667.92.

7am: Robertson rises

Family-owned construction group Robertson has posted a 21% jump in pre-tax profit to £21.5 million for the year to 30 June 2022 from £16.8m in the previous year.

Revenue was up to £594.7m from £566.2m.

The Elgin-based company, chaired by Sir Bill Robertson, employs 2,521 staff across over 120 construction sites and 90 facilities management sites in Scotland and England.

It said: “Our financial year has got off to a positive start but, like many businesses, we continue to manage the ongoing challenges of labour and material shortages and significant material price inflation.”

7am: NatWest share sale extended

The government has extended plans to sell down its stake in NatWest Group.

Full story

7am: Cineworld deal

Cineworld has raised $2.26bn (£1.8bn) in a restructuring deal that should enable it to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The rights offering and exit facility will wipe out existing shareholders.

Cineworld operates in 10 countries and also owns the Picturehouse chain in the UK.

Mooky Greidinger, chief executive, said: “This agreement with our lenders represents a ‘vote-of-confidence’ in our business and significantly advances Cineworld towards achieving its long-term strategy in a changing entertainment environment.  

“With a growing slate of blockbusters and audiences returning to cinemas in increasing numbers, Cineworld is poised to continue offering moviegoers the most immersive cinema experiences and maintain its position as the ‘Best Place to Watch a Movie’.”

Global markets

Oil prices rose after Saudi Arabia led a production cut by Opec on Sunday, despite calls from the US for output to rise.

Cuts from May to the end of the year will see more than one million barrels per day pumped into the market. Russia, a member of OPEC+, is also was extending its cuts of 500,000 barrels per day to the end of this year, calling it “a responsible and preventive action”.

A Saudi energy ministry official “emphasised that this is a precautionary measure aimed at supporting the stability of the oil market”.

Growth in the Chinese manufacturing sector stalled in March, according to survey data on Monday. However, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.6%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.5% The Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was up 0.5%.

Sterling was quoted at $1.2285, lower than $1.2370 at the London equities close on Friday.

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