• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

It’s back to square one for the Footsie, which is more or less unchanged

Mar 22, 2021
  • FTSE 100 down 2 points
  • Kingfisher the top riser after its prelims
  • Vaccine wars in Europe rumble on

After a wobbly start, Londons leading equities have achieved equilibrium.
The FTSE 100 was down 2 points (0.0%) at 6,706, thanks in part to a positive reaction to results from the DIY retailer, Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF).
Shares in the bodge jobbers favourite company rose 6.3% to 332.4p after it reported a 7.1% increase in like-for-like sales in 2020.
The DIY boom, which ranged from large home improvement spends to adjusting areas for working from home, could hardly have played more thoroughly into Kingfishers hands, suggested Richard Hunter, the head of markets at interactive investor.
Alongside a significant decline in exceptional costs from the previous year which flattered the figures further, pre-tax profit jumped to £756 million from £103 million a year earlier. Indeed, there were strengths in the key metrics across the board, with notable improvements to earnings per share, profit margins, improved cash flow and a large reduction in net debt.
The favourable environment has led to an increased dividend payment which implies a yield of around 3%. At the same time, the early signs for the new financial year are also encouraging, with like for like sales ahead by 24% so far. Meanwhile, the company is testing new collection, delivery and store concepts in order to capitalise further on the current momentum, he added.
8.45am: Turkey-shoot
The FTSE 100 opened up in worse shape than had been predicted as Turkey and the EU began the neg on UK sentiment.
The local currency fell out of bed after president Erdogan sacked his globally respected central bank chief and replaced him with a little-known professor of banking.
The ripples were felt on both the bond and equity markets, particularly during a choppy session in Asia earlier.
Closer to home, the EUs threat to withhold vaccine exports to Britain added to the rather tetchy mood on the London market, as did the warning that international travel bans may be extended several months.
No prizes for guessing the mornings big fallers, then. On the Footsie, it was British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG), which lost 3.5% in altitude, while Rolls Royce (LON:RR.), which provides jet engines to the carriers and is often paid per mile they fly was off 3.4%.
On the FTSE 250, easyJet (LON:EZJ) was off 7.9%, while TUI (LON:TUI) dropped 4.3%.
On the up was B&Q owner Kingfisher (LON:KGF), which advanced 3.3% as its sales surged thanks to click-and-collect.
AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) held firm in the storm around its vaccine, exports of the said jab, and the EUs vacillations as to whether it works or not.
Investors tended to focus instead on a new study that showed the Oxford University-developed drug was both safe and effective for older recipients.
6.50 am; FTSE 100 called lower 
The FTSE 100 looks set to open modestly lower following a mixed early session in Asia.
The region was affected by the US Federal Reserves decision to end certain emergency measures put in place to help the financial industry deal with the impact of the pandemic.
Adding a slice of uncertainty to the mix was President Erdogan, who has removed central bank chief Naci Agbal, sending the Turkish Lira lower.
The net impact was the choppiness seen in Asia, coupled with a firming of prices on the bond market where yields had been on the up.
Here at home expect wobbles from the Covid bounce-back stocks following the weekend spat with the EU over vaccine stocks and the blocs position over exports of jabs to the UK.
Also likely to hold back sentiment is the growing likelihood that overseas trips will have to put on hold for several more months.
Looking ahead, we have updates from B&Q owner Kingfisher (LON:KGF), Cineworld (LON:CINE) and United Utilities (LON:UU.).
The scheduled interims from Bellway (LON:BWY), meanwhile, will provide a health check on the wider housing market.
Around the market

  • Pound US$1.3852 (-0.14%)
  • Bitcoin US$57,766.35 (+1%)
  • Gold US$1,736.40 (-0.43%)         
  • Crude oil US$64.22 (-0.48%)

6.50am: Early Markets – Asia / Australia
Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Monday as investors watched the Turkish lira fall following President Erdogans shock decision to replace the countrys central bank chief.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slipped 0.03% while the Shanghai Composite in China gained 0.89%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell more than 2% and South Koreas Kospi declined 0.04%.
Shares in Australia rose, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing 0.66% higher.
Proactive Australia news:
Elementos Ltd (ASX:ELT) (OTCMKTS:ELTLF) (FRA:9EM) has been as much as 45% higher to A$0.017 today after results from another two holes at the flagship Oropesa Tin Project in Spain confirmed zones of tin mineralisation up to 31.1 metres thick with assays of up to 12.9% tin.
Northern Minerals Ltd (ASX:NTU) (OTCMKTS:NOURF) (FRA:NUN) has surpassed a new production milestone after producing 210,000 kilograms of heavy rare earth carbonate (REC) at the Browns Range Pilot Plant in northern Western Australia.
Horizon Minerals Ltd (ASX:HRZ) has completed the acquisition of a 50% interest in the Pennys Find Gold Project further enhancing its strong gold position near Kalgoorlie in Western Australians Goldfields.
Queensland Pacific Metals Ltd (ASX:QPM) (FRA:4EA) has received firm commitments from institutional and sophisticated investors to raise $15 million in a strongly oversubscribed share placement which will enable the company to complete a definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the TECH Project in Queensland.
Pantoro Ltd (ASX:PNR) has received additional broad, high-grade gold assay results from Green Lantern deposit at the 50%-owned Norseman Project which continue to expand the Scotia Mining Centre.
YPB Group Limited (ASX:YPB) has developed an evaporating tracer that can identify the presence of disinfectant on a surface for five hours after application.
Fe Ltd (ASX:FEL) (FRA:B4T) has been granted a key environmental approval for its Wiluna West JWD Iron Ore Project in Western Australia as the project gets moves closer to the start of mining.
Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) (FRA:W1D) has started front-end process plant commissioning at its Lake Way Sulphate of Potash Project near Wiluna, Western Australia.
Euro Manganese Incs (ASX:EMN) (CVE:EMN) (OTCMKTS:EROMF) (FRA:E06) private placement to raise gross proceeds of A$30 million (C$29 million) has received strong institutional participation and has been oversubscribed.