FTSE 100 movers: Merlin boosted by MS note; Aviva hit by downgrade

Tue 05 Sep 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London's FTSE 100 was down 0.3% to 7,392.76 in afternoon trade on Tuesday as investors mulled over some disappointing data on the UK services sector.
Merlin Entertainments got a leg up from some positive comments from Morgan Stanley, which said it was one of its top picks, "with many levers to drive growth".

MS reckons Merlin is close to confirming a new Legoland Park for New York, which it estimates could add up to 8% to EBITDA/EPS when open by 2020.

Paddy Power was racking up health gains despite being downgraded to 'equalweight' from 'overweight' in the same MS note mentioned above about the leisure and hotels sector.

On the upside, retailer Marks & Spencer was lifted by the latest data from the British Retail Consortium, which showed that like-for-like sales rose 1.3% last month compared to a 0.9% drop in August 2016. On a total basis, sales were up 2.4% in August versus a 0.3% decline in the same month last year. This marked the strongest growth since Easter, above the three- and 12-month averages of 1.9% and 1.6%, respectively.

Barratt Developments got a boost from FTSE 250 peer Redrow, whose shares rallied after it reported a 26% jump in full-year profit to a record 315m as revenue rose 20% to a record 1.66bn. This was driven by a 15% increase in legal completions to 5,416 and a 7% gain in the average selling price to 309,800.

Insurer Admiral was under pressure after Berenberg downgraded the stock to 'sell' from 'hold', highlighting weakness in the company's international operations.


Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 466.90p 2.08%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 7,105.00p 1.94%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,796.00p 1.55%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 325.40p 1.43%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 305.60p 1.29%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 625.00p 1.21%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,275.00p 1.11%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,940.00p 1.05%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 236.10p 0.85%
GKN (GKN) 323.70p 0.81%


Provident Financial (PFG) 816.00p -4.67%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 7,116.00p -2.39%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 423.50p -1.35%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,167.00p -1.19%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,220.00p -1.11%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,646.00p -1.08%
SEGRO (SGRO) 535.00p -1.02%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,900.00p -0.99%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 902.50p -0.99%
Aviva (AV.) 510.00p -0.87%
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