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FTSE rises as investors predict May's victory in leadership contest

Wednesday, 12th December 2018
The FTSE 100 enjoyed a 1.1% increase to 6,880 despite a rise in sterling as the market anticipates UK Prime Minister Theresa May will win her leadership contest later today.

Utilities were in favour as May's victory is seen as reducing the chances of Labour getting into power, lowering the threat of re-nationalisation.

Severn Trent gained 3.7% to £18.87 and United Utilities was up 2.3% at 766.6p.

Wall Street was also upbeat, the S&P 500 advancing 1.4% to 2,673 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil rose 1.4% to $61 per barrel.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Fashion retailer Superdry plunged 38.2% to 354.5p after it issued yet another profit warning, blaming a continuation of unseasonably warm weather crimping demand for jackets and sweats.

Superdry also admitted to a lack of innovation in its clothing range.

Engine maker Rolls-Royce was having a brighter day. It gained 2.8% to 802.8p on announcing that it expected its profit and cash flow for 2018 to be at the upper end of its previous guidance.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's fell 5.4% after it and its takeover target Asda called for a judicial review of the UK competition regulator's investigation of their proposed tie-up.

The pair complained that they needed more time to meet the regulator's demands.

Phone retailer Dixons Carphone slumped 6% to 142p as it cut its dividend and launched a turnaround plan targeting cost savings of £200m, after swinging to a first-half loss on the back of asset write-downs.

British American Tobacco gained 1.2% to £27.59 as it stuck to its full-year forecast to exceed high single-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share, despite currency headwinds.

Oil services company Wood Group slumped 10.2% to 578.6p, even as it forecast at least 10% growth in annual revenue, and earnings in line with its expectations.

Hard landscaping manufacturer Marshalls gained 10.8% to 462p after it announced that it had acquired concrete brick maker Edenhall Holdings for up to £17.2m, while upgrading its annual guidance.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Strong trading at healthcare and PR agency Huntsworth means it will 'at least' hit full year earnings targets of £29.4m. The shares rise 9.3% to 106p.

Communications kit designer Filtronic saw its shares more than halve to 8.1p after demand for a new range of antennas failed to live up to expectations.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com


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