The rebound in the London market continued after yesterday’s return to above the level observed before the Black Friday liquidation.
The FTSE 100 added an additional 0.3% in the hope that the symptoms associated with the Omicron variant would not be as severe as initially feared.
In London news, Taylor Wimpey has announced that chief executive Pete Redfern will step down after more than 14 years at the helm. Games Workshop shares have plummeted after a business update, while there are results from vacation giant TUI and station caterer SSP.
Lukewarm opening on Wall Street
The stock markets had a mixed opening in New York, with little to report. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones index are both up 0.1% interest-free, while the Nasdaq is down 0.1%. As you were.
Meanwhile, the earnings of the FTSE 100 narrowed further. The index is only 12 points in the green at the time of writing. Will he keep the winnings until the close?
Centrica withdraws from Norwegian oil business
British Gas owner Centrica is selling a Norwegian oil and gas company for £ 800million, the latest deal that sees energy giants leave companies once considered essential to their goal.
Centrica will get £ 560million for its 69% stake in the Norwegian branch of Spirit Energy, the buyer being Sval Energi.
Managing Director Chris O’Shea said: “With the divestiture of these largely oil-producing assets to buyers who will be able to cover the costs of dismantling the materials, we can now focus on creating value for our shareholders. from Spirit’s remaining gas reserves. “
He added: “We will not explore new hydrocarbon reserves. “
Like its competitors, Centrica is preparing to “decarbonize” its activities. Oil majors are selling the North Sea in what some have called the “death knell” for a once proud industry. Shell recently abandoned its plans to develop the Cambo oil field.
Sval Energi said the acquisition, the largest on the Norwegian continental shelf since 2019, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.
Centrica shares edged up to 68p. They were 230p five years ago.
FTSE clings to gains despite Plan B fears
The FTSE 100 is still in the green this afternoon despite rumors that the Prime Minister may be on the verge of introducing restrictions designed to curb the spread of Omicron.
However, London’s top flight index is still up 16 points as I type. It is helped on the upside by Berkeley, which is down from its intraday highs but still up 3%. Businesses that may do well in lockdowns or semi-lockups are also on the rise, with online grocer Ocado gaining 2.5%.
Nightclubs tell PM: “Don’t throw us under the bus”
Nightclubs have told the prime minister not to reintroduce restrictions, amid reports the government is considering introducing ‘plan B’ restrictions, including vaccine passports to curb the spread of the Omicron variant .
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, says: “Vaccine passports are having a negative impact on businesses in the nighttime economy, as we have seen in other parts of the UK where they have been. implemented. Trade is down 30% in Scotland and 26% in Wales following their implementation. The British government has twice ruled out vaccine passports before changing its mind twice. The period leading up to Christmas is absolutely crucial for our sector and today reports that Plan B, including vaccine passports, will have a devastating impact on a sector already so ravaged by the pandemic.
“The government’s own report on the subject concluded that vaccine passports would not even have a significant impact on the transmission of the virus. You must therefore ask yourself when and why this announcement was made. Is this public policy based on solid evidence, or is it an attempt to shift the current affairs agenda from a damaging story about Downing’s Christmas party? St? Nightclubs and bars must not be thrown under the bus for the Prime Minister to save his skin. “
Plan B: Travel and advertising stocks tumble on Covid report
TRAVEL, Leisure and Advertising stocks take a heavy hit following a report that the public faces new restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The FT reports that three senior Whitehall officials have informed that the government has decided to implement “Plan B” restrictions, including the order to work from home.
In response, investors sold shares of some companies.
BA owner IAG fell 5%, while Premier Inn owner Whitbread fell 3%.
Cineworld fell 7%, with Wizz Air, TUI, easyJet and JD Wetherspoon all taking losses.
Some fear what new restrictions could do to the economy.
London property market propels Berkeley to FTSE summit
A London-focused home builder, the Berkeley Group invested in equity during the pandemic and are now reaping big rewards for their decision.
Berkeley said today its profits had risen 26% to £ 290.7million in the six months to the end of October, with revenue soaring 36% to £ 1.2 billion. The company sold 1,828 homes during the period, up from 1,104 last year, at an average price of £ 647,000. Shareholder returns during the period nearly tripled to £ 486million during the period.
The company revised its profit forecast for the full year by 5% and said its pre-tax profits are expected to increase by about 5% each year for the next three years.
Berkeley shares jumped 5.3% to the top of the FTSE.
Tui’s winter vacation warning sparks tumble in travel stock
A warning from Europe’s largest vacation company that Omicron already fears it will hit winter bookings caused shares of airlines and package travel companies to plummet this morning.
The German tour operator told investors that the emergence of the new highly transmissible variant and “increased media coverage of rising incident rates” have weakened the previously positive momentum, “especially for the winter”.
Tui had planned to increase capacity during the winter break and reach up to 80% of pre-Covid volumes, but said today that if current trends continue this will bring that number down to around 60 %. Its stock fell 6% during the update.
Shares of package holiday group On The Beach fell 2.3%, EasyJet nearly 3%, Ryanair 2.2% and British Airways owner IAG fell 1.8% after the update. Tui this morning – despite a larger rally for equities. Rolls-Royce, which makes jet engines and earns revenue while in flight, fell 2.5%.
The takeover of the FTSE 100 continues
The Black Friday rout for the stock markets already seems like a distant memory for investors after blue chip stocks continued their rebound today.
After surging this week to return above the level before the Omicron-led sell-off, the FTSE 100 index again defied expectations today by adding an additional 21.93 points to 7361.77.
It is now back in sight of the highest figure since the start of the pandemic, helped by new signs that symptoms associated with the new Covid-19 strain appear to be mild.
Asian markets were also higher despite more uncertainty over Evergrande’s fate after the Chinese property developer allegedly missed another debt repayment deadline.
AJ Bell Chief Investment Officer Russ Mold said: “A few months ago, Evergrande’s failure to repay its bonds spooked global markets and led to speculation about a potential crisis in the system. China’s real estate and financial sector.
“Now it looks like the markets have just accepted that Evergrande could crash and there is no panic. “
Homebuilding stocks contributed to today’s top-flight performance after Berkeley shares jumped 4% following a strong update.
The London Stock Exchange also received a much needed boost, from 72p to 6784p, as analysts at Jefferies said stocks had been unfairly targeted since the agreement to buy financial data provider Refinitiv.
The City company launched a cover with a buy recommendation and a target price of 8,500 pence. Jefferies wrote: “We believe the stock is undervalued and see a path to re-pricing as management continues to provide advice. “
The FTSE 250 index gained 103.05 points to 23,340.16, securing its return above the level it was before the November 26 liquidation.
Investment manager Man Group was the biggest gainer, up 6% or 13p to 228.8p, while Trustpilot also continued its recent improvement by adding 10.8p to 349p.
Stagecoach rose 2.65p to 79.3p in the FTSE All-Share after it said passenger trips in its regional bus business were back to more than 70% of 2019 levels in November.
He reported a sharp increase in half-yearly profits to £ 18.4million and said talks were continuing with National Express over a possible merger.
Paying at City broker Numis is skyrocketing
Numis is on the rise – staff compensation has averaged £ 320,000 this year.
Most of the 319 employees will have earned much, much more than that.
Redfern denies departure linked to Elliott’s position
Taylor Wimpey’s outgoing CEO Pete Redfern has denied his exit was linked to Elliott Advisors, the activist who allegedly recently took a position in the company’s shares.
Redfern said he “never comments[s] on individual investors ”, but said his departure“ is not related to any conversation with an investor ”.