London open: Stocks inch up ahead of GDP, Dixons Carphone tumbles on profit warning

Thu 24 Aug 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks edged higher in early trade on Thursday as investors eyed the release of key UK economic growth data, although Dixons Carphone bucked the trend after a profit warning.
At 0825 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 7,406.00 and the more UK-focused FTSE 250 moving slightly lower, while the pound was down 0.1% against the dollar at 1.2793 and up 0.1% versus the euro at 1.0848, having fallen to an eight-year low against the single currency on Wednesday.

On the data front, the second estimate of second-quarter UK gross domestic product is at 0930 BST, while the CBI distributive trades survey is at 1100 BST.

Economists are expecting the second quarter GDP figure to come in unchanged at a 0.3% and any surprise revision could make a bad week for the pound worse, said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell, or help the currency lift away from its recent lows.

"Also worth paying attention to is the quarterly preliminary business investment figure, which is forecast to fall from 0.6% in Q1 to 0.2% in Q2 - again, not exactly the kind of news sterling wants to hear right now."

In corporate news, Dixons Carphone tumbled after warning that profits for the full year will be well short of expectations due to a new business model of its sales software, while also saying the UK mobile phone was proving "more challenging".

Gambling software development company Playtech fell despite saying revenues jumped 30% at constant currencies in its first half to €421.6m, with adjusted EBITDA rising 24% by the same measure to €170.9m.

Greencore was in the red as it tried to reassure investors it was on track following recent share price weakness. The company said it was not aware of any developments since its third-quarter update that changed the outlook.

Carnival, Mondi, Prudential, Hikma, Berkeley Group, and Cineworld were all weaker as their stock went ex-dividend. Dixons Carphone was also ex-div on Thursday, adding around three percentage points to its fall.

It wasn't all bad news, however, with building materials group CRH rallying as it posted a 27% jump in first-half pre-tax profit and announced an agreement to sell its Americas distribution division to Beacon Roofing Supply for $2.63bn in cash.

Challenger bank OneSavings edged higher after reporting a 20% increase in underlying first-half pre-tax profit to 78.4m, beating expectations of 76.8m.

Oilfield services company Hunting gushed as it reported a narrower loss for the first half, while closed-life insurance consolidator Phoenix Group was on the front foot after posting a jump in first-half operating profit.

Still to come, investors will be turning their attention to the Jackson Hole symposium that kicks off later in the day in the US.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,406.00 0.32%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,731.23 -0.06%
techMARK (TASX) 3,395.34 0.12%

FTSE 100 - Risers

CRH (CRH) 2,795.00p 3.90%
Provident Financial (PFG) 677.50p 2.50%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,797.00p 1.45%
ITV (ITV) 164.40p 1.11%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,354.00p 0.99%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 434.90p 0.98%
BAE Systems (BA.) 597.00p 0.84%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 611.50p 0.82%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,605.00p 0.82%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 429.70p 0.73%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

easyJet (EZJ) 1,243.00p -2.13%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,316.50p -0.57%
Carnival (CCL) 5,320.00p -0.47%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,557.00p -0.45%
Mondi (MNDI) 2,089.00p -0.43%
Prudential (PRU) 1,803.50p -0.41%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,263.00p -0.35%
Sky (SKY) 951.00p -0.31%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,730.00p -0.29%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 321.80p -0.25%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Hunting (HTG) 433.70p 3.83%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,664.00p 2.74%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 792.00p 2.52%
Greencore Group (GNC) 213.10p 2.45%
Carillion (CLLN) 43.47p 2.14%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 249.50p 1.80%
William Hill (WMH) 248.20p 1.68%
Vectura Group (VEC) 113.60p 1.61%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 502.50p 1.58%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 577.50p 1.23%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Dixons Carphone (DC.) 177.40p -24.61%
Playtech (PTEC) 952.00p -4.18%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 226.70p -2.95%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 197.60p -1.69%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,224.00p -1.45%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,637.00p -1.33%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 798.50p -1.24%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 395.00p -1.08%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 282.30p -0.95%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 663.50p -0.90%
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