MetiNews.Com FTSE falls further as Covid concerns offset positive BP, HSBC updates Breaking news
MetiNews.Com - UK shares continued to fall on Tuesday as persistent concerns about rising global coronavirus cases offset better-than-expected earnings updates from market bellwethers BP (BP.) and HSBC (HSBA).
Breaking News ! UK shares continued to fall on Tuesday as persistent concerns about rising global coronavirus cases offset better-than-expected earnings updates from market bellwethers BP (BP.) and HSBC (HSBA). The benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.2% to 5,782.65 in early trading, continuing its losses after a sharp drop yesterday as markets across the world fell significantly. US stock markets suffered their sharpest drop in weeks over concerns about the economic impact of surging cases, with the Dow Jones closing 2.3% lower, after dropping more than 3% earlier in the day, while the S&P 500 fell 1.8% and the Nasdaq 1.6%. BP AND HSBC BEAT EXPECTATIONS In company news, oil major BP added 2.5% to 205p after it swung to a modest third-quarter profit, beating market expectations. But in a sign the sector is far from out of the woods, the firm cut its quarterly dividend by 49% to 5.25 cents per share. BP reported underlying replacement cost profit, its definition of net income, of $86 million in the three months from July to September, down from $2.2 billion a year earlier but a significant improvement on the $6.7 billion loss made in the previous quarter and better than expectations of a $118 million quarterly loss. Meanwhile HSBC rallied over 6% to 339p, even as it reported a 35% drop in third-quarter profit that nevertheless beat low market expectations. For the quarter ended 30 September, pre-tax profit fell to $3.1 billion from $4.8 billion year-on-year as revenue, affected by a lower interest rate environment, plunged to $11.9 billion from $13.4 billion. The bank also said its credit loss charge for the full year was currently trending towards the lower end of its previous $8 billion to $13 billion guidance range. WHITBREAD SWINGS TO BIG LOSS Premier Inn hotel chain owner Whitbread (WTB) firmed 2.3% to £22.95 despite swinging to a £725 million first-half loss and scrapping its dividend after the pandemic devastated the hospitality sector.
Budget airline EasyJet (EZJ) fell 1.5% to 511.6p after it sold and leased back a number of its aircraft, raising around £306 million to bolster its balance sheet.
Wealth manager St James’ Place (STJ) shed 2.6% to 905p on announcing that funds under management for the third quarter had risen 5.2%.
St James’ Place, which is facing calls from an activist investor to cut costs, said its net inflows during the quarter amounted to £1.44 billion, down from £2.11 billion in the same period last year.
PLUS500 TUMBLES DESPITE DOUBLING EARNINGS
Online contracts-for-difference broker Plus500 (PLUS) tumbled 10% to £14.52, even as operating earnings almost doubled in the third quarter as heightened market volatility encouraged more punters to place bets.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the three months through September jumped 91% to $134.2 million as revenue rose 96% to $216.4 million.
But there was no upgrade for the full year: Plus500 said its annual revenue and earnings were still expected to be in line with current analysts’ consensus forecasts.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ:AIM) rose 3.9% to 7.5p despite swinging to a £29.4 million loss for the year through March and saying trading had deteriorated even further since due to the pandemic.
Quiz said sales for the six months to 30 September 2022 had tumbled 73% to £17.2 million.
Cocktail bar owner Revolution Bars (RBG:AIM) fell 4% to 9.5p after it launched a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to reduce the size of its estate and rental cost base. Under the CVA, it would exit six bars and obtain materially improved rental terms on seven others.
Revolution Bars also said the latest government restrictions clouded its outlook and that it now expected the important Christmas trading period to be ‘severely compromised’.
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