Market report

Recruiters fall on hiring delays | ECB lifts rates

London and financial services

Recruitment agency Robert Walters issued a profit warning on the back of hiring delays. In an unscheduled update, it said net fee income in April and May fell 9% compared to the same two months a year ago, and profit for 2023 will be ‘significantly lower than expectations’.

It sparked a sell-off across the sector, with PageGroup down 6.2%, or 27.2p, to 415p, while Hays slumped 6.3% or 6.9p, to 102.1p and SThree shed 5.7% or 22.5p, to 372.5p.

Miners rose strong again on the back of higher metal prices. Antofagasta added 3.5%, or 52.5p, to 1560p, Anglo American was up 4%, or 99.5p to 2582.5p, while Glencore gained 2.3%, or 10.35p, to 470.35p.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.1%, or 7.96 points higher at 7602.74.

Online fashion retailer Asos said sales continued to fall but it has maintained in its full-year guidance.

Sales in the three months to 31 May fell 14% to £858m, while sales in the year so far are down 9% to £2.69bn. However, the company said the fall in sales reflects “deliberate actions on capital allocation to improve profitability.”

“I am confident in the direction we are going, we have restored profitability in the period and made good progress in clearing through our inventory to generate cash,” said chief executive José Antonio Ramos Calamonte.

Global markets

The European Central Bank confirmed a further rate rise of 25 basis points said it was considering a further rise next month.

The Bank of Japan will announce its latest rate decision on Friday and the Bank of England next week.

China’s economy stumbled in May with industrial output and retail sales growth missing forecasts, adding to expectations that Beijing will need to do more to shore up a shaky post-pandemic recovery.

China’s central bank cut the interest rate on its one-year medium-term lending facility, the first such easing in 10 months, prompting an uplift in stock prices. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 1.2%. 

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