Monday, 4 November: The FTSE began the week today spurred by US – China trade hopes. The US labour market surprised on the upside last week and this also led to a strong close on Wall St. Friday, leading into the European open today. Asian bourses also enjoyed the support and closed higher, so all hunky-dory early on.
In companies’ news, it was more negative stories hitting the headlines, as it emerged Mothercare is on the brink of collapse. The threat of administration puts 2,500 jobs at risk. The retailer has struggled for a while now, and their efforts to find a buyer, restructure and recover have so far fallen short and the UK stores are now seemingly past the point of no return. Shares dropped a further 26% in today’s trade.
One of the other top headlines was BA’s owner, IAG, which has bought Air Europa for €1bn in cash. Shares in the airline company closed 1% higher. Staying with airlines Ryanair shares enjoyed strong gains of 8% today after better than expected Q2 profit. In the update the airline has stated how they’re expecting to benefit from failed airlines, full year guidance also narrowed to the €800m – €900m range.
In other company news, Lok’n’Store has hiked the dividend after profit climbed in FY 2019. Small construction company Aukett saw their shares jump 13% after swinging to profit in FY 2019 and a solid start to this year.
Marston’s have sold 137 pubs in order to reduce debt, raising just shy of £45m from the sale to Admiral Taverns. As we leave, investors are still coming to terms with the announcement that MPs are looking to bring in restrictions to online gambling, seeing most gambling firms drop this afternoon. And US shares have hit record highs.