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UK stocks track sideways; Ryanair descends

Monday, 20th May 2019
UK stocks tracked sideways on Monday as investors continued to grapple with rising US-China trade tensions and UK Conservative Party leadership ructions.

At 0857, the FTSE 100 was up just 1.95 points at 7.350.57.

Budget carrier Ryanair descended 5.7% after it booked a 29% fall in annual profit.

The company also delayed delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and guided for flat profits in the current year amid a 'cautious' outlook for ticket pricing.

IT infrastructure product and services provider Softcat fell 1.0%, despite forecasting full-year results 'slightly ahead' of previous expectations.

Performance materials supplier Low & Bonar tumbled 24% after it warned on profits and announced the departure of chief executive Philip de Klerk.

Student accommodation developer Unite added 0.3% as one of its two funds raised £250m of new equity from external investors, while also purchasing three assets from Unite for £111m.

Provident Financial was little changed after shareholder Schroders urged other investors in the sub-prime lender to reject Non-Standard Finance's hostile takeover bid. Non-Standard Finance shares fell 0.4%.

Healthcare investor Syncona gained 1.2% on news that it had founded new cell therapy company Quell Therapeutics with a £35m funding commitment.

London and southeast England focused property investor McKay Securities posted a 70% fall in annual profit, owing to lower rises in the value of its investments. Adjusted profit, however, rose 2.3%, the dividend rose 2.8%. Its shares were unchanged.

Billing software group Cerillion fell 2.1% as 'timing differences' on large contracts hurt revenue and sent it swinging to a loss.

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