Wednesday, 28 February: It was a disappointing session in America yesterday, which fed into the Asian session this morning, alongside weak manufacturing data in both China and Japan. This caused the Hang Seng to fall 1.54% while Japan’s Nikkei slumped 1.44% lower. Europe unsurprisingly failed to buck the trend to what has been a tough month for equities. Europe’s worst month for markets since mid 2016, and therefore many traders will be looking ahead to March with some optimism we’re sure. On the day the FTSE opened lower and gradually gave more away throughout the day before closing 0.69% lower, the lowest close for two weeks. The rest of Europe’s main indices didn’t fare much better, the DAX closing 0.36% lower and the CAC dropped 0.44% on the day.
ITV was the biggest faller on the day, with shares down 7.6% after profit fell 10%. Advertising revenue has been hit by political and economic uncertainty, but they expect a boost from the football this year. Of course as businesses look to cut back, marketing expenses tend to be one of the first areas they will look at. Admiral insurance group also released results today and joined ITV at the bottom with shares closing 4.5% lower. Shares did initially increase after record revenue and customer numbers before a sharp reverse in late trade. Fresnillo and Taylor Wimpey’s results also didn’t please investors, on a day where seemingly only St James’s Place’s latest update went down well with investors. Shares of the asset manager finished at the top of the main index, up 2.58%.
It wasn’t the most upbeat day in company specific news as two of the main headlines surrounded administration cases. Toys R U was one, which puts 3,000 jobs at risk in the UK. Almost tragic as it holds such a dear place in many people’s hearts, or an expensive place depending on your situation. Either way, this heavenly place on Earth has had to call time, after failing to find a buyer to help pay their outstanding tax bill as well as payments to suppliers. Unfortunately Toys R Us has been a victim of simply being outdated. They’re not the only popular name that has failed to adapt to the changing consumer habits, but trying to survive this at a time where rising wages, consumer spending pressures and inflation have all hit has ultimately sealed their fate. Then electronics retailer Maplin also filed for administration, putting 2,500 jobs at risk. Again attempts to find a buyer for the struggling business had come up short, leaving no other option. Their hardship stems from many similar reasons to Toys R Us.