Wednesday, October 30: The FTSE 100(+0.34%) closed higher led by a selection of consumer, engineering and financial stocks.
Standard Chartered(+2.27%) led the primary index higher as it announced that Q3 pretax profit rose 16% on the prior period, but outlined a cautious outlook. The bank’s pretax underlying profit was $1.24bn in constant currency terms, compared with $1.07bn in Q3 2018. Net interest income rose 8.9% on the year to $2.39bn while operating income jumped 6.8% to $3.98bn. Q3 expenses were slightly lower at $2.5bn, though credit impairments more than doubled to $279m. Despite the good news for shareholders, management warned on growing headwinds from the “combination of continuing geopolitical headwinds and expectations of declining near-term global growth and interest rates”.
De La Rue(-19.52%) surprised the market as it issued a profit warning after a weak H1 performance. First half adjusted operating profit will be “low-to-mid single digit millions” versus £17m for the previous half year. Full year profit is now expected to be significantly lower than market expectations, and recently appointed Chief Executive Clive Vacher is now leading a review of the business. No further detail was given for the profit downgrade.
European equities were mixed at the close, with the FTSE 100 +0.34%, the CAC 40 +0.45% and the DAX 30 -0.23%.