– The FTSE 100 closed the day at 6,747.09, a decrease of 5.32 points.
– The FTSE 250 fell by 29.24 points to finish at 17,745.84.
– The FTSE All Share slipped 3.44 points to 3,677.77.
– The FTSE AIM All Share finished at 752.56, a fall of 3.58 points.
The latest minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee have dampened hope of interest rate rises in the near future, despite Governor Mark Carney saying that an increase was getting closer. Markets appear to expect a move no earlier than May 2016. The pound dropped against other major currencies following the news.
Mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO) reported a 43% drop in underlying profits for the six months ended 30th June, to $2.9 billion (£1.86 billion), due to declining commodity prices. However, the result was still better than analysts had feared given the prior consensus estimate of $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion). Investec described the announcement as, “a good set of results, suggesting the company is hunkering down for tough times. The next six months are likely to be an even more challenging period, given the price declines we have seen so far, with the anticipated oversupply of iron ore yet to fully play out”. The shares rose 8p to 2,575p.
Temporary power supply specialist Aggreko (AGK) increased revenues by 2% to £781 million for the six months ended 30th June, but income for its Power Projects unit dropped by 9% due to falls in pricing and utilisation at key projects. A slow down in the North American oil and gas sectors also hit pre-tax profits, which dropped to £102 million. Aggreko shares declined 57p to 1,130p.
Brewer Diageo (DGE) has been upgraded to a “buy” from a “hold” by Investec, which said that the firm was well positioned to benefit as consumers increasingly move towards premium products in the drinks market. The broker increased its target price to 2,070p and raised forecast organic sales growth rates from 2017 onwards to 5.8%. Nomura reiterated a “buy” position a week ago and suggested a target price of 2,180p. Diageo shares grew 17p to 1,838p.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca (AZN) has signed a deal worth $500 million (£322 million) with Japanese outfit Sosei that gives it exclusive rights to develop, produce and market an oncology drug in Sosei’s pipeline. An initial payment of $10 million (£6.44 million) will be made with the remaining consideration dependent on the product’s commercial success. AstraZeneca shares dropped 12p to 4,412p.
Software developer Proactis (PHD) posted a 69% rise in revenues to £17.2 million for the year ended 31st July as the firm signed 39 new deals and continued to integrate its recent acquisitions. EBITDA is likely to rise by c. 130% to around £4.6 million. Shares in Proactis fell 0.5p to 90.5p.
Tomorrow’s news today
Catlin (CGL) and William Hill (WMH) are among the firms that will publish interim results tomorrow.
Quote of the day
“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.”
– William Arthur Ward