– The FTSE 100 fell 99.50 points to 6,520.98.
– The FTSE 250 rose 3.17 points to 17,531.50.
– The FTSE All Share tumbled by 43.65 points to 3,570.58.
– The FTSE AIM All Share finished 0.55 points higher at 755.68.
The Office for National Statistics revised GDP growth figures upwards for the first three months of 2015, to 0.4%. The ONS said that the adjustment was based on construction output being higher than initially estimated. Growth for 2014 was also revised up, to 3% from the previous level of 2.8%. Analysts greeted the news positively and said that they expected growth to have accelerated in the second quarter as electoral uncertainty stopped dragging the economy down.
Specialist retailer Carpetright (CPR) returned to growth in Europe as it boosted total revenues by 3.3% to £462.6 million for the year ended 2nd May. European operations also turned their $4.4 million loss from the prior financial year in to a £0.3 million profit via store closures and like-for-like improvements. Management said that downsizing will continue during the current period. Carpetright shares rose by 19.5p to 609p.
Real estate investment trust St. Modwen Properties (SMP) saw its pre-tax profits for the 6 months ended 31st May increase by 265% to £177.6 million, after a number of its joint ventures bore fruit. The group realised £41 million worth of profits from its portfolio during the period. Shares in St. Modwen climbed 8p to 452.9p.
Shares in Home Retail (HOME) climbed 6.7p to 169p after Morgan Stanley upgraded it to “overweight” from “equal weight”. In a note published today, the broker wrote that, “there are some very interesting things going on at Argos at the moment. We don’t have high conviction as to how they will play out, but with the shares on 4x earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and supported by 120p of cash per share, we think the risk-reward has become attractive”.
Central Asian oil and gas firm Roxi Petroleum (RXP) has found an interval bearing at least 105 metres of net oil at its key BNG site. Further sampling work is needed, but initial extraction work has begun. Shares in Roxi rose by 6.9% to 15.5p.
Software developer Arria NLG (NLG) narrowed its loss for the six months ended 31st March to £2.7 million from £5.3 million in the same period of the prior year. Revenues rocketed upwards by 174% to £0.9 million and the company announced that it issued convertible loan notes worth £3.75 million yesterday. Arria shares closed the day at 19.5p, a 5.41% increase.
Shares in delivery outfit Ocado (OCDO) rose by 15.9p to 445.9p at it managed to post strong revenue growth despite difficult conditions in grocery markets. Active customer numbers rose by 19%, but average order sizes declined and profits before taxation for the 24 weeks to 17th May fell by £0.3 million to £7.2 million.
Tomorrow’s news today
On Wednesday, Anite (AIE) and Greene King (GNK) will post final results.
The latest UK manufacturing PMI survey will be released.
Quote of the day
“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”
– Adam Smith