Sparks Begin to Fly for M&S

Wednesday, 6 November: The FTSE was expected to fall lower at the open because of losses in Asia and falling oil prices, but never made any major moves and that was the story of the day, the main index effectively just oscillating for the session – eventually closing +0.12%. The FTSE 250 contending more with domestic affairs slumped on the day to close -0.39%. European bourses in general were unconvinced today, with some investors staying put until we hear more form a potential US and Chinese trade ‘deal’.

Some of the main headlines from companies today included M&S, who saw their shares climb after a pre-tax profit jump of 52% in the first half of fiscal 2020. Revenue was however lower but up against easy comparatives M&S impressed. Shares however closed marginally lower as sentiment faded through the day, signalling how much investors will need to regain confidence in the retail giant.

Intu Properties, who own the likes of Eldon Square and the Metro Centre warned that LFL rental income would be 9% lower for the year. In the update they have stated that the third quarter was worse than previously expected, as they of course head into the crucial festive season.

Construction firm Morgan Sindall saw shares climb 3.5% today after raising guidance. They have enjoyed contract success and have subsequently seen results better than expected despite the drab backdrop in the sector. Also with a resilient trading update today was Redrow, whom saw trading in the first 18 weeks of the year stand up despite a weaker housing market and of course Brexit uncertainty. Which frankly companies and myself are getting sick of writing.

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