Wednesday 7 September: The FTSE 100 closed higher for the first time this week, up 0.3% along with other major European bourses. An uptick in Brent oil gave miners and oil companies a leg up, as housebuilders fell back after experiencing heady gains yesterday.
Sports Direct slumped(-8.67%) today in the aftermath of an aggressive rally yesterday. This was as Sports the Chairman Keith Hellawell refused to step down despite losing confidence of independent shareholders. Approximately 53% of independent shareholders, excluding the deputy chairman and majority shareholder Mike Ashley voted against the re-election of Mr. Hellawell as chairman. Mr. Hellawell has pledged to step down at next year’s annual meeting, if he can’t win the independent shareholders over.
CMC markets fell 12.31% lower as the online trading platform blamed an interim profit warning on a lack of market volatility. The excuse wasn’t received well by the analyst community as the period concerned included the wild market gyrations that followed in the wake of the UK’s Brexit referendum. The excuse was also out of kilter when compared to sector peers, IG Group Holdings and Plus500 – both of whom reported trading as very good.
Official data this morning confirmed a shrinking of UK factory output on the month in July, but overall industrial production held up, aided by a rise in oil and gas production. The ONS played down the effect of the Brexit referendum, as clearly a single data point does not constitute a trend. Pharmaceutical production fell for the third straight month, dragging down overall manufacturing, but machinery, food, textile and chemical production all rose. August surveys have since signalled a rebound in manufacturing, though investors will have to wait until October to see whether it is confirmed in the official data. Sterling fell to session lows against the dollar and euro after data showed UK manufacturing production fell much more than expected during July, although industrial output was above forecasts.
At the close European indices were up with the FTSE 100 +0.30%, the CAC 40 +0.61%, and the DAX 30 +0.62%.