Market Report: BA owner IAG shares slide on Iberia job cuts

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City eyes were more on the Cleeve Hill than trading screens as the first day of the Cheltenham Festival got under way. 

The chatter was more Willie Mullins and his 60 runners than Willie Walsh and his near-500 aircraft. British Airways owner IAG’s shares slipstreamed down 5.5p to 536p on word of more job cuts at Iberia.

For those left in their offices the tone was pretty much set by a flat performance from Wall Street overnight and a “steady as she goes” message from the Bank of Japan, which held interest rates in negative territory and continued printing money. 

With more sellers than buyers outside the parade ring the FTSE 100 fell 37.62 points to 6137.47, and the FTSE 250 fell 18 points to 16,675.

Miners again dragged the market into the red with Anglo American and Lonmin down 9%, Glencore, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton off 5% and Antofagasta, with uninspiring results out, down 10%. 

Royal Bank of Scotland was a rare patch of green, rising 4p to 235p, as Goldman Sachs said it was its preferred stock over rival Lloyds. 

The vampire squid reckons RBS’s value will rise as it carries on ditching old legacy rubbish from its investment bank and it will do better than others in a competitive UK mortgage market. 

Good news for the Chancellor, who still has to get rid of the 73% we taxpayers own in the bank, although we paid an average 500p a share, which means our fingers are still burning. 

Inchcape shares drove up 20p to 730p as the international motor dealer revealed a 10% rise in headline profits. 

Investors even shrugged off a near-£50 million writedown on the value of its Russian business, where new car sales fell 36%. But profits in other emerging markets accelerated 40%. You lose on one Bric, you gain on the others. 

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Boost: Chancellor George Osborne

Serial chairman and private investors’ favourite Bob Holt was busy. His original business Mears has been awarded preferred bidder status to provide homecare services by Devon County Council on an initial five-year contract. That and some pretty solid in-line results wasn’t enough to stop the shares dropping 15p to 395p. 

In his most recent incarnation Holt has become chairman of Totally, the healthcare services provider, which came up with its first deal under him today. 

It raised £6.2 million through a placing at 62p a share to buy Premier Physical Healthcare, a physiotherapy business, for £6.75 million. Totally shares eased back 10% to 68.8p. 

Back where the real action was, Paddy Power Betfair shares were down 15p at 9140p, William Hill flat at 370p and Ladbrokes up 0.6p at 115.4p. If the Mullins miracle does not come off and Victoria Pendleton is unseated on Thursday they will all end the week higher. 

And if you want some fun in the meantime Sire de Grugy in the Queen Mother tomorrow is an each-way flutter at 14-1 or better.

Source Article from http://www.standard.co.uk/business/market-report-ba-owner-iag-shares-slide-on-iberia-job-cuts-a3203776.html

March 16, 2016 |
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