Thursday, November 28: The FTSE 100(-0.18%) was weighed lower by a clutch of stocks trading ex-dividend, moderated hopes of US-China trade deal and a firmer pound after YouGov polling predicted that the Conservative Party would secure a majority at the impending general election. This particular poll carries significant weight since it predicted the hung parliament at the last election.
Virgin Money(+21.37%) jumped on the announcement of its FY2019 results despite suspending its dividend. The challenger bank faced payment protection insurance claims and restructuring linked to CYBG’s acquisition of Virgin Money Holdings, which were expected to “drag on figures”. Payment protection insurance cost provisions ran to £415m, leading the business to post a statutory pretax loss of £232m, compared with a loss of £164m for the prior period. The pro-forma CET 1 ratio stood at 13.3%, as the lender announced it was on track to meet its target of c.£200m in net cost savings by fiscal 2020 after saving £53m in FY2019. The Board will consider the re-introduction of the dividend for FY2020 “in line with normal practice”.
European equities were mixed at the close, with the FTSE 100 -0.18%, the CAC 40 -0.24% and the DAX 30 -0.31%.