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Market Reports

London open: Stocks fall as investors eye services PMI; Barclays slumps

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 05 Dec 2023

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks fell in early trade Tuesday, taking their cue from downbeat US and Asian sessions, as investors mulled the latest retail sales data and looked ahead to the services PMI.
At 0825 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.5% at 7,477.60.

The latest figures from KPMG and the British Retail Consortium showed that retail sales grew by an underwhelming amount in November despite shops stepping up their discounts leading up to Black Friday, as cautious consumers chose to delay their Christmas spending.

The BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor for November showed that total retail sales increased by 2.7% in November. This was above the three-month average growth rate of 2.6% but below the 12-month average of 4.1%. In November of 2022, sales were up 4.2% on the month before.

In the three months to November, food sales growth slowed to 7.6% from 7.9% a month earlier and under the 12-month average of 8.4%.

Meanwhile, non-food sales were down 1.6% in the three-month period, compared with an average of 0.5% over the past 12 months.

"Black Friday began earlier this year as many retailers tried to give sales a much-needed boost in November. While this had the desired effect initially, the momentum failed to hold throughout the month, as many households held back on Christmas spending," said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC.

"Retailers are banking on a last-minute flurry of festive frivolity in December and will continue working hard to deliver an affordable Christmas for customers so everyone can enjoy some Christmas cheer."

Dickinson painted a gloomy picture for retailers heading into 2024, as they have to deal with a rise in business rates and costs from other new regulations. "These combined with the biggest rise on record to the National Living Wage will mean retailers will have less capital to invest in lowering prices for their customers," she said.

Still to come, the S&P Global/CIPS services PMI for November is due at 0930 GMT.

In equity markets, Barclays slumped after the Qatar Investment Authority, the bank's second-largest shareholder, sold nearly half of its stake.

Prudential and Standard Chartered were both down after Moody's cut its credit outlook on China to 'negative'.

Auction Technology was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'equalweight' from 'overweight' at Barclays.

Equipment hire specialist Ashtead was weaker as it delivered flat second-quarter profits, but said demand in the US remained "robust".

Outside the FTSE 350, Quiz shares tanked as the fashion retailer warned on full-year revenues after a disappointing Black Friday performance, and said it swung to a loss in the first half.

On the upside, Land Securities was boosted by an upgrade to 'buy' at Goldman Sachs.

Moonpig was also up as the online gifts and greeting cards retailer backed its full-year expectations and reported a jump in first-half profits.

SSP gained as the food and beverage travel outlet operator reinstated its dividend and reported a near doubling of annual core profits, driven by the continued resurgence in passenger numbers and workers returning to work in offices.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,477.60 -0.47%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,356.96 -0.02%
techMARK (TASX) 4,060.48 -0.27%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Land Securities Group (LAND) 636.80p 1.43%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 303.40p 1.10%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 3,152.00p 0.57%
Diploma (DPLM) 3,354.00p 0.42%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,191.00p 0.35%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 132.15p 0.30%
DCC (CDI) (DCC) 5,504.00p 0.26%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 6,346.00p 0.22%
Sage Group (SGE) 1,132.00p 0.18%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,735.00p 0.17%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Barclays (BARC) 138.60p -3.06%
Entain (ENT) 776.40p -2.56%
Prudential (PRU) 846.60p -2.04%
WPP (WPP) 709.40p -1.88%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 644.20p -1.38%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,197.50p -1.21%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,440.50p -1.06%
Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,849.00p -1.02%
Aviva (AV.) 417.60p -0.97%
Pearson (PSON) 924.80p -0.94%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Moonpig Group (MOON) 182.60p 3.46%
SSP Group (SSPG) 220.00p 3.29%
Pagegroup (PAGE) 459.20p 2.73%
FirstGroup (FGP) 164.10p 2.69%
SThree (STEM) 424.50p 2.66%
Genuit Group (GEN) 343.50p 2.54%
JTC (JTC) 775.00p 2.51%
Bodycote (BOY) 592.50p 2.42%
Britvic (BVIC) 852.50p 2.34%
Bellway (BWY) 2,426.00p 2.28%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

888 Holdings (DI) (888) 80.45p -4.28%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 506.00p -2.88%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 105.00p -2.87%
BlackRock Greater Europe Inv Trust (BRGE) 515.00p -2.28%
CAB Payments Holdings (CABP) 52.70p -2.23%
Marshalls (MSLH) 240.00p -2.20%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 148.00p -1.86%
Darktrace (DARK) 340.50p -1.76%
Senior (SNR) 161.20p -1.71%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 475.00p -1.66%

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