Wednesday, 11 December: The FTSE reversed early progress to marginally decline this morning. As the afternoon progressed the index worked its way back flat, buoying around that level until the close. Oil has slipped from recent highs as the US has shown stockpiles to be growing and the pound had a mixed day (ultimately dictating the direction of the FTSE) recovering after earlier losses on the back of polls showing an increasing risk of a hung parliament. If only we could look to tomorrow as the end of all this but let’s be honest it’s going to drag on more than a DFS sale.
In company news today JD Sports was the largest faller on the FTSE, down 9.5% after one of their largest shareholders sold a stake in the firm. The other 99 on the FTSE are low-key happy about this, sick of JD always doing well, we heavily assume. Tui also fell on the index today, shares down exactly 1%, very precise from the sellers, exactly 1% lower as net profit in FY19 dropped 43%. They forecast earnings growth ahead and blame the poor year on domestic uncertainty from Brexit and the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX. Elsewhere miners generally outperformed as Fresnillo topped the index, Ashtead also enjoyed a good day as international earners were backed from the uncertainty in sterling. If only the currency was as reliable as Raheem is down the wing for City nowadays.
Futura showed the risks of a poor clinical trial yesterday, after we ‘touched on’ the poor results of their erectile dysfunction medicine. AstraZeneca released results of their breast-cancer treatment phase 2 trial and shares climbed 0.8% after promising signs.
Moving onto the FTSE’s little brother, but in 2019 we’re not saying less capable, Stagecoach was one of the standout performers today. Climbing 9% after the announcement that the chairman would step down. It would be unfair to put the share movement on him as it is far more likely it was down to the first-half profit jump of 35%. Sorry Brian for a Daily Mail-esque misleading headline. Tullow Oil was the only share to beat Stagecoach, as their shares jumped 15%, but its been a tough week so if you have just joined us and Tullow’s news then do not. I repeat do not start going wild in that Argos catalogue. Tullow have been having a touch festive period thus far.