Market report

London lifted, banks fall, Abrdn buys four funds

Barclays Glasgow campus

Investors in London were lifted by a solid showing on Wall Street and unemployment figures suggesting the Bank of England will leave interest rates unchanged.

They also shrugged off a warning from the CBI that manufacturers suffered the worst monthly fall in orders in October since January 2021.

The monthly industrial orders balance declined to -26 from -18 in September, missing expectations for an improvement to -16.

Banks were under the cosh after a disappointing update from Barclays (pictured). Its third-quarter headline profits beat analysts’ forecasts, but the bank cut its guidance for retail banking net interest margin for 2023.

Barclays shares slipped and other banks followed suit, with NatWest and Lloyds both down.

Abrdn, whose shares are down by a third over the past three months, is acquiring four funds which manage about £600 million worth of assets between them.

A deal has been agreed with First Trust Advisors, based in the US, to take on the closed-end funds and it is now the third largest manager of closed-end funds in the world. The shares fell 1p to 153.5p after rising 3.6p in the previous session.

A recovery in copper prices gave a boost to miners which clawed back some of the previous session’s losses. Antofagasta was up 2.4% at 1328p.

In a sign of an improving M&A market, investors digested big deals at home and in the US. On Monday nightit emerged that Chevron agreed to buy Hess in a $53 billion all-share deal as the American oil major commits to fossil fuels. The acquisition is the second blockbuster oil and gas takeover this month, after ExxonMobil’s $60 billion acquisition of Pioneer, the fracking specialist.

ScS, the Sunderland-based furniture and flooring retailer, is to be taken private after an offer from Italian rival Cerezzola that values the UK business at almost £100 million was recommended to shareholders. The 280p per share offer is a huge premium to Monday night’s closing price of 169p.

A weak pound also supported the FTSE 100, whose constituents include global companies generating revenue in foreign currency. The operator of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza chains, IHG, rose 102p, or 1.8%, to 5864p while shares in Diageo, the world’s biggest spirits maker, rose 34p, or 1.15, to 3119p.

The FTSE 100 closed 14.87 points ot 0.2% higher at 7,389.70.

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