Halloween Yields Treats for FTSE

Wednesday, 31 October: Despite the nature of today there were no hiding behind pillow moments for traders (on the whole). The FTSE imitated the strong session seen in the US and Asia yesterday and overnight, with investor fears generally seeming to ease as corporate earnings news dominated headlines.

In the latest update from Next, investors were disheartened after online sales growth despite backing full year guidance. Next has made headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, like many peers. Another one of the many high-street names suffering from legacy brick and mortar models and turning up un-fashionably late to the online party. Hence why so much importance lies on online growth and its respective performance. Shares declined almost 2% on the day.

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline also reported on Q3 today, stating that net profit jumped 17% as they revised full year guidance to the upper end of guidance on the back of strong performance from its shingles vaccine. Shares ended 1.7% lower.

Smurfit Kappa reported strong Q3 results, tailing off from intraday highs to close 0.55% higher. They saw EBITDA climb 27% for the first 9 months of the year and announced that the current chairman will retire at the end of the year.

Standard Chartered shares remained near the top of the index today after surprisingly mentioning that they remain cautiously optimistic on global economic growth. Third quarter pre-tax profit did decline however, by 8.4% as a result of lower income in Africa and the Middle East. Shares finished 3.15% higher.

William Hill today announced they would buy Swedish online bookies Mr. Green & Co. This benefits the firm by increasing both their digital and international presence. The deal for the NASDAQ listed firm is worth $307.9m, shares closed the day 1% higher.

One of the biggest fallers on the day was Computacentre, which saw a revenue fall of 3.4% as a result of a more challenging environment. Despite the rhetoric towards a stronger Q4 shares closed over 12% lower on the day.

Overall, despite today’s broad resurgence October was a tough month for global markets, with many experiencing their worst since various points during the global financial crisis. The FTSE began the month at 7,400 and closes at 7,100, not forgetting we dipped below 7,000 last week.

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