Debenhams hit by Another Blow

Monday, July 23: The FTSE 100(-0.30%) opened lower as trade tensions continue to drive risk aversion in the markets, taking a lead from the Nikkei 225(-1.33%) as Europe also opened lower. It was a light day for M&A activity, earnings and data so politics continued to drive most price action -the impact of which was felt after a passage of brinkmanship between US President Trump and Iran President Rouhani, again related to trade.

London-listed Airliners IAG(-1.50%) and Easyjet(-2.15%) fell intraday on a read-across from Ryanair. The Irish budget operator fell 4.37% as investors concluded that the carrier is set to face some notable short term headwinds. The business will battle growing unrest with staff with strike disruption, higher fuel and pilot costs alongside lower fares/ higher competition.

Debenhams(-4.66%) continues to enjoy a torrid time after concession Blow refused to commit to any further spending with the department store. The partnership was initiated before the retailer issued three profit warnings and now the beauty concession is understood to be seeking a new buyer with the ultimate aim of exiting its partnership with Debenhams. A minor silver lining for the retailer is that its 20% stake in Blow valued at £7.5m, will in all likelihood be exited profitably with Blow now valued at £50m. This follows the news last week that credit insurer Euler Hermes reduced cover for supplier deliveries to the high street chain.

Across Europe, indices were lower at the close with the FTSE 100 -0.30%, the DAX 30 -0.10% and the CAC 40 -0.37%.

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