Monday, 18th February: At the top of the list of almost 920 companies on the AIM today was Footasylum, up more than an overwhelming 87% at one point following the news that founder JD Sports bought an 8.3% stake in the youth-focused UK shoe and clothing retailer. Footasylum issued two profit warnings in 2018, and the share price was heavily affected as a result. Having reached highs of £2.73 in January 2018, the group ended the year just under 26p. However, after the JD announced their acquisition of the 8.3% stake today, Footasylum managed to reach highs of 55p in the afternoon.
Making headlines I the UK today were the seven MPs who left the Labour party and started their own; the Independent Group. The two main factors which encouraged the group of seven to quit Labour and form their own party were Jeremy Corbyn’s methods of handling Brexit, and the anti-Semitism within the group which had not been tackled regardless of members within the party speaking up about the abuse they had received first-hand. The reaction to the new centrist party has been mixed, as existing Labour party members criticise the seven whilst the Conservative party made a statement suggesting the move provides further evidence of Corbyn’s failure to tackle issues within the group.
At the top of the FTSE 100 today was Reckitt Benckiser, as the consumer goods giant reported sales growth which had beat expectations and distracted the market from the flat operating margin concerns. In the afternoon they were up 4.8% and just over £63.00.
Regardless of the good news reported by Reckitt, the blue-chip index was in red for the majority of the day excluding the two short hours in the afternoon where it hovered slightly higher. Reckitt gains were offset by the dominant bank and oil stocks of the index which dragged the index down as a whole.
The blue-chip index closed 0.24% lower at 7219.47.