Monday, 15 July: This morning we saw a fairly subdued open for shares in London. Aside from early Chinese data there as little else to drive the market or for investors to sink their teeth in to. The mentioned data out of China showed the slowest growth rate in 27 years at 6.2% (although in-line with forecasts). The news was slightly compensated for by industrial output and retail sales growing more than expected but of course the data doesn’t do much for risk appetite given the complexity of the global macro landscape at present, and the troubles facing the world’s second-largest economy.
The FTSE 100 was little moved in early trade with copper miner Antafogasta the biggest climber, due to an international court awarding compensation of £5.8bn in damages after unlawfully being denied a JV mining lease in Pakistan. Shares closed the day 4% higher, only bettered by Just Eat and Flutter Entertainment shares. The biggest faller was Micro Focus, after their chairman offloaded a huge chunk of shares, but he claimed this was for personal financial reasons and diversifying his wealth. Shares sunk 5.66% on the day. Persimmon also had a tough start to the week ahead of a TV investigation into their homes. Channel 4 Dispatches isn’t known for oversight. Shares dropped 2.86%.
One of the other main headlines from this morning was that Sport Direct postponed full year results, announcing they would miss guidance given last December. It seems that the acquisition of House of Fraser has caused more headaches than anticipated and it is appearing far less of a ‘bargain buy’ than Ashley may have thought. Sports Direct have had a tumultuous year and recently looked to complete another bargain takeover, this time for Game Entertainment after the well-publicised failure of their Debenhams attempt. The delay is presumably not because he’s tied down getting the sale of Newcastle United over the line, and from what we hear Steve Bruce is fairly easy to deal with. Shares of the retailer closed today 9.57% lower. Mission marketing provided an update for the year, expecting revenue and profit growth in line with targets. Shares however dipped on the day, falling over 3.8%.