Market Report: Weather damps hopes for FTSE 100 retailers

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The City clearly can’t stand the rain.

A wash-out August has hit a slew of retailers as shoppers were deterred from hitting the High Street amid the downpours.

Shares in Next and a host of other FTSE 100 retailers fell as a result today after a report from accountancy firm BDO which said August was the worst month for British retail since the recession hit in 2008. 

The 4.3% sales drop in the summer month was the sixth monthly dip this year, as shoppers opted to spend their cash on holidays and eating out.

It reflected grimly on the FTSE 100, with Next at the bottom of the index, dropping 225p, or 2.87%, to 7615p.

The fall also came after Exane BNP Paribas cut its rating on the retailer to underperform from neutral.

The broker also cut its rating for Dixons Carphone, whose shares fell 13.1p to 417.8p.

Grocers Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons saw their shares decrease too.

Better news for AstraZeneca after the City welcomed an update from the drugs company on a post heart attack treatment.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved its blood-thinning drug Brilinta to be used on patients with a history of heart attacks beyond the first year.

The pharmaceutical giant said approval “is an important milestone”. Its shares climbed 7.5p to 4255p.

These ups and downs all led to a 101.30 point fall in the FTSE100 to 6093.40, reversing part of yesterday’s gains.

The City is expected to remain cautious ahead of US jobs data due out later which could offer clues as to when the US Federal Reserve might raise interest rate.

Over on the FTSE 250, bookmaker Ladbrokes said its non-executive director Darren Shapland is retiring from the board after six years.

Shapland, who is also chairman of Poundland leaves on September 24 and a replacement search has begun.

Ladbrokes, which is taking over rival Coral, saw shares decrease 0.8p to 98.6p.


Gala Coral chief executive Carl Leaver and Ladbrokes chief executive Jim Mulllen shake on the deal

On AIM, Gear4Music — one of the UK’s largest online retailers of musical instruments and equipment — was hitting the right note after it posted a 43% sales rise to £12.5 million for the six months to August 31.

Its chief executive Andrew Wass toasted a strong performance for the group which floated in June. Shares were up 2.5p to 142.5p.

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September 4, 2015 |
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