Market Report: Asos shares dip then rally as City mulls boss Nick Robertson’s departure

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A boss’s popularity can be measured by how far shares will fall when the inevitable happens and he or she hands over the reins to someone new.

So Nick Robertson of Asos fame likely took comfort from the fact that his departure from the online fashion retailer caused such dismay that shares in the firm plummeted 5% in early trading, before recovering to be 1.3% higher at 3023.73p.

The flamboyant boss, who keeps a Nineties singing iguana telephone in his Mornington Crescent boardroom, now holds a stake which is worth £211 million.

But the fall at Asos pales into insignificance compared with the wild rapids rushing through the FTSE 100.

It fell against predictions of a slight rise, causing the leading index to drop 24.22 points to 6034.32, off 0.4%.

Perhaps spooked by the battered US stock markets overnight, trading continued to lurch wildly.


The fallout from China appears to remain the main cause of the problems, with many of the big mining firms taking a hit.

Propping up the bottom of the FTSE 100 is Glencore, with shares sinking 6.4% to 124.95p.

Shares in the mining and commodities giant have plummeted 55% this year.

On the FTSE 250, many of the excitable oil stocks also took a fair hit with a barrel of the black stuff tumbling overnight: Brent crude took a 1% fall to $49 (£32) a barrel.

Ophir Energy dropped 5.1% to 93.1p, Tullow Oil was down 2.97% at 212.15p and Cairn Energy also fell 2.1% to 142.25p.

The risers were generally helped by analysts giving the thumbs up to their future growth.

On the FTSE 100, Hikma Pharmaceuticals rose 3.78% to 2309p after Barclays raised its price target by a huge 35%.

Merlin Entertainment, which is still recovering from the fallout over its Alton Towers closure earlier this year, also rose 1%, up 3.8p to 381p, thanks to a UBS upgrade from Neutral to Buy.


And SuperGroup — the fashion brand behind Superdry and, like Asos, another business where the founder, Julian Dunkerton, has handed over control — also received a welcome upgrade by RBC Capital, sending its shares up 2.6% to 1481.84p.

Elsewhere, equipment hire firm Ashtead saw its shares rise 5.67% to 967.5p as bosses revealed pre-tax profits and revenues both surged higher in the first quarter.

The Aer Lingus takeover by British Airways-owner IAG finally closed today, which gave IAG’s share price an extra 1.23% as it rose 6.5p to 534.5p.

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September 2, 2015 |
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