Market dips on US rating downgrade
Ratings agency Fitch lowered the US rating from the top level of AAA to AA+ amid concerns about the country’s finances and its debt burden.
Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at AJ Bell, said: “In effect, this is saying the US is now higher risk than previously thought.”
The FTSE 100 closed at 7,561.63, 104.64 points, or 1.4%, lower.
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which owns shares in most of the big American technology stocks, slid 25.5p, or 3.5%, to 704.25p amid the gloomy US markets.
Abrdn slid by 6.75p, or 3%, to 221.25p after UBS aded the fund management group to its “sell” list over stagnant earnings worries.
Defence company BAE Systems has lifted full-year guidance as company saw a record order book.
BAE posted half year underlying EBIT of £1.3bn, up 10% of an 11% rise in sales to £12bn, while the order intake was £21.1bn, leaving it with a record order backlog of £66.2bn. Sales increased 11% to £12.0bn.
The directors have declared an interim dividend of 11.5p per share, an increase of 11% and approved a further share buyback programme of up to £1.5bn.
Its shares closed up 59.5p, or 6.4% at 992¾p.
Virgin Money, which last week announced another slug of branch closures,said it is committed to offering “competitive savings rates” amid ongoing criticism that the banks are not passing on recent interest rate rises.
Taylor Wimpey said profits and revenue fell sharply as rising interest rates knocked the housing market.
Shell has awarded Wood Group a three-year deal to continue providing engineering and management expertise for its projects.
The enterprise framework agreement builds on a 70-year partnership and will see Wood support Shell’s greenfield and brownfield projects across the world.
“Complex project excellence is where we excel and we are aligned with Shell in our strategic ambitions to deliver the energy the world needs,” said Wood CEO Ken Gilmartin.
Murray Income Trust
Murray Income Trust has declared a fourth interim dividend of 12.75p for the year ended 30 June(2022: 11.25p).
As a result, the total dividend for the year is 37.50p, representing a 4.2% increase on the previous year’s total dividend of 36p (2022: 4.3% increase).
As Murray Income celebrates its centenary, this marks the 50th consecutive year of dividend increases for its shareholders.
AMTE Power, the battery manufacturers said Kevin Brundish, executive director, will become a non-executive director with immediate effect and will continue to provide the board with advice and guidance.
David Morgan, chairman, said: “I would like to add my personal thanks to Kevin for all his hard work and dedication in developing the business and for providing the platform upon which we can all build.
“I wish him well in all future executive endeavours but am grateful that he will still be playing a part in our future success”.