Wednesday, 15th May: The blue-chip index rose briefly by 0.15% at the open, before making a swift U-turn to -0.15% by around 08:40 (BST). Kingfisher were one of the main contributors of dragging the index down after their Q1 update which has been described as “underwhelming” following a weak growth of 0.4% in group sales in the period, and an ongoing battle with particularly difficult trading in France. However, the DIY expert remained positive that they would be able to achieve forecasts for the full year which remain unchanged, and experienced decent sales growth of 9.6% at Screwfix during the period, whilst B&Q sales were up slower at 2.8%.
On the other end of the index, Compass Group released a particularly positive interim update which included an increase in growth guidance for the full year results following strong performance in North America, and they also announced an increase in the dividend. The update allowed the group to sit firmly at the top end of the index for the entirety of the day and push up the share price closer to its all-time high last seen in April.
Airline operator TUI was up and down all day as the market was unable to decide how to treat the most recent update. After initially reacting negatively to news of a widened loss for the first half of the fiscal year due to a late Easter and overcapacity in Spain, the market managed to see some upside in the fact that summer bookings haven’t fallen as dramatically as they could have given the troublesome market backdrop.
On Wednesday it became increasingly vocal from MP’s that they would vote down Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement next month, which would leave the UK with two options; no-deal or no Brexit, to which the Poland’s foreign minister responded to by suggesting that Britain should be granted another extension in order to hold another referendum and confirm whether Brexit is something Brits still want. The news pushed sterling down in the afternoon to a three-month low of $1.2826.
The FTSE 100 managed to reverse any losses once again and ended the day 0.76% higher at 7296.95.