Tuesday, September 26: equity markets struggled for direction following “declarations of war” from the US according to North Korean officials. Tensions escalated on Monday, after the foreign minister warned that his country would shoot down U.S. warplanes even if they were outside the nation’s airspace. Both the White House and the Pentagon brushed aside the threat of military action, but it was enough to spook markets through the day. The FTSE 100 closed -0.21% on the sentiment, despite Brent crude and therefore oil stocks rising on the back of potential OPEC production cuts.
Card Factory(-18.31%) slumped in trade today after announcing numbers for the first half of 2017. The high street greeting card retailer disclosed strong like-for-like sales and revenue growth, despite dwindling footfall on the high street. However, pretax profit fell 14% to £23.2m from £27.0m last year due to increased costs and operating expenses. The cost of sales to revenue ratio increased 73.0% as cost of goods sold relates to products sourced in dollars, which became more expensive due to sterling devaluation in the wake of the Brexit vote. This was partnered with higher operating expenses, which came as a result of increased store openings and pay rises for staff members.
Safestore(+5.89%) was one of the larger gainers in the UK, as the self-storage company announced it bought the company behind Alligator Self Storage chain for £56.0m. Stork Self Storage Holdings, trading under the Alligator brand, is the eleventh largest self-storage company in the UK. Combined with the 12 Alligator stores, the combined Safestore will have a total of 146 stores, consolidating its position as the “leading self-storage operator in the UK”.
Across Europe, indices were mixed at the close with the FTSE 100 -0.21%, the DAX 30 +0.08% and the CAC 40 +0.03%.