Wednesday, 20th September: Surveys carried out by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and Open Britain, a pro-EU campaign, has revealed that more and more Brits are losing faith in the government’s approach to Brexit. Businesses are demanding more information and reassurance so that they can go ahead with implementing any plans and being proactive to suit the leftover circumstances being the outcome of the negotiations made for the departure from the EU. Some questions could be answered this Friday, as Theresa May is scheduled to give a speech with the aim of revving up negotiation talks again, but if we’ve learnt one thing from Brexit, it’s that nobody really has the answer to anything, so we won’t pin our hopes on it.
This time last month, we spoke of Kingfisher’s struggles as it sunk to the bottom of the FTSE. Today, we continue to speak of the groups’ struggles, but this time they have made it to the top of the FTSE after revealing a 2.5% dividend increase in the half year results. Although the results weren’t particularly exciting again, the dividend increase was enough to push them to the top of the FTSE. They opened around 4% higher after closing yesterday at 296p, and by mid-day were around 6.8% higher at 316p.
Kingfisher was fighting for the top spot though, with British engineering support group Babcock International. The submarine specialist, amongst other areas of expertise, glided up the index after releasing a trading statement that showcased their impressive achievements thus far in 2017. The group has managed to secure 89% of forecasted revenue for 2018, and 57% for 2019, this combined with a South Korean submarine contract left the group trading 6.63% higher at 853p by mid-day, placing them head-to-head with Kingfisher.
The blue-chip index opened slightly lower at the start of the day, but picked back up within minutes and began to trade marginally higher, before falling flat again during the afternoon. The initial drop was a result of the harsh words thrown around by President Trump yesterday regarding the North Korean crisis and the nuclear deal with Iran. Branding Iran as “exporters of violence” and the North Korean leader as “rocket man” wasn’t the most diplomatic approach, but he went ahead with it anyway.
Oil surpassed the five month high and was trading 1.5% higher at $56.22 a barrel. Gold was also trading higher, up 0.32% from the start of the day at $1.312.02 per ounce.
To finish off the day, the FTSE 100 closed 0.05% lower at 7271.95 whilst the FTSE 250 closed 0.03% higher at 19540.80.