- Investors welcome Mark Carney’s decision to stay at Bank of England until June 2019
- Pound retreats from two week high after UK manufacturing PMI
- FTSE 100 edges back towards 7,000
- UK’s factory sector loses steam in October as weak pound boosts exports
Market Report: Moneysupermarket.com enjoys best day in three year after management say it is on track for ‘record year’
Moneysupermarket.com enjoyed its biggest daily gain in more than three years after the price comparison website said it is on track for “a record year” thanks to strong growth in sales of insurance.
The mid-cap company delivered a 12pc rise in revenues to £84.9m in the third quarter. It also attributed the revenue to boost to a campaign by its website MoneySavingExpert, while low interest rates subdued savings and current account switching by around £0.8m compared to the previous year.
Management also said they are “confident of meeting full-year expectations”. However, analysts at UBS flagged that the group’s reluctance to upgrade its outlook “perhaps points to a step-up in costs to achieve the strong revenue growth”. Investment bank Liberum also remained “cautious” highlighting that revenue growth is “heavily dependent” on its marketing spend.
Standard Chartered became the biggest victim on the blue chip index, dropping 38.6p to 673.3p, after it third quarter pre-tax profits of £153m missed consensus forecasts by $36m. It also confirmed that Hong Kong’s financial regulator plans to take action against it in relation to its role as a joint sponsor of an initial public offering in 2009.
Oil major BP beat quarterly earnings estimates but slashed its investment plans by another $1bn for this year as it the oil price continues to weigh on profits. Shares tumbled 21.7p to 462.1p.
Its peer Royal Dutch Shell, however, was among the standout performers on the FTSE 100, up 84p to £21.99, on the back of forecast-beating results, with underlying net profit rising by 18pc.
Gold producers also occupied the top spots after the precious metal surged to a one-month high of $1,290.92 an ounce. Investors piled into good after new polls gave Donald Trump an edge over Hillary Clinton in the US presidential campaign.
However, Chris Beauchamp, of IG, cautioned: “This is the Trump effect at work, but the fact remains that we need to see a price for the yellow metal of at least $1340 to break the pattern of lower highs seen since July.” Shares in Polymetal International jumped 47.5p to 938.5p, Fresnillo climbed 78p to £17.18, Randgold Resources made gains of 155p to £73.95 and mid-cap Acacia Mining advanced 17p to 535.5p.
British Airways owner IAG edged up 8.7p to 443.1p after Barclays hiked its target price by 30p to 460p ahead of its Capital Markets Day.
On the other side, supermarket chain Morrisons dipped 2.8p to 223.7p following a rating downgrade. Jefferies cut its rating to “hold” to reflect the stock’s “sharp re-rating” so far this year.
Drugmaker Shire slipped 122.5p to £42.58 after its third quarter revenues missed forecasts. Sales of haemophilia drugs, which it acquired in its $32bn Baxalta deal during the summer, fell by 6pc.
Mid-cap pharma group BTG slumped, down 36.5p to 621.5p, after RBC Capital Markets slashed its rating to “sector perform”.
Elsewhere, luxury fashion house Burberry dipped 4p to £14.71 after US peer Coach said it had no imminent M&A plan durings its earnings call. The comments follow recent rumours of a tie-up between the pair.
Finally, shares in cyber defence company Falanx fell 1.8pc to 6.6p despite a robust set of interim results.
On that note, it’s time to close up for today. I’ll be back again tomorrow morning with more markets coverage.