London's blue-chip index finished Wednesday's quiet trading session flat ahead of the Easter weekend. By market close, the FTSE 100 had edged up 0.01% to finish at 7,931.98 points, continuing to consolidate at around one-year highs. "Sterling weakness has played a key role in the short-term move, but in the longer-term it looks like we could see further gains as international fund flows continue to return to U.K. markets thanks to the better outlook for the U.K. economy," IG analyst Chris Beauchamp wrote in a market comment. The FTSE 100 has gained 6.16% on a 12-month basis.


Diploma PLC to Acquire Peerless Aerospace Fastener for $298 Mln

Diploma said it will acquire Peerless Aerospace Fastener LLC for around 236 million pounds ($298 million).


Travis Perkins CEO Nick Roberts to Step Down

Travis Perkins said Nick Roberts will step down as chief executive officer after five years in the role.


SSE PLC Narrows Adjusted EPS Target on Improved Renewables Output, Thermal Performance

SSE PLC narrowed its guidance for full-year adjusted earnings per share, citing an improved renewables output and the performance of SSE Thermal.


Vanquis Banking Swings to Pretax Loss on Higher Costs

Vanquis Banking Group has reported a swing to pretax loss for last year due to impairment charges and higher operating costs.


Revolution Beauty Lifts Guidance on Improved Profitability

Revolution Beauty upgraded its earnings expectations for fiscal 2024 as profitability improved and it continued to deliver robust operational performance.


Endeavour Mining Swings to Pretax Loss

Endeavour Mining swung to a pretax loss before taxes for the fourth quarter, it said.


CMC Markets Raises Guidance on Strong Performance Momentum

CMC Markets raised net operating income guidance for the year as the strong performance in the third quarter continued into the fourth.


S4 Capital Pretax Loss Narrowed Despite Revenue Fall

S4 Capital reported a narrowed pretax loss along with lower revenue, reflecting fears of recession, high interest rates and client caution on spending.


Playtech Pretax Profit Rises, Boosted by U.S. Expansion

Playtech reported a higher pretax profit and revenue, boosted by strong performance in the Americas region and its expansion strategy in the U.S.


Diploma's Acquisition of Peerless Makes Strategic Sense

0939 GMT - Diploma's acquisition of specialty-fasteners distributor Peerless Aerospace Fastener is consistent with the board's strategy, given that it significantly expands its presence in the U.S. and adds scale in Europe, Jefferies analysts say in a note. The financial metrics also look appealing, and the deal is estimated to be 8% earnings-per-share accretive in the first full year of ownership, they add. Diploma has the capacity for further acquisitions, and could deploy an additional GBP300 million surplus capital over the next 18 months, they add. Diploma leads the FTSE 100 index top performers with shares up 11.2%, and up 40% on a 12-month basis.(


S4 Capital Management Changes Seen as Positive

0918 GMT - S4 Capital's new board structure and chief operating officer appointment is seen as positive, Numis analysts Steve Liechti and Gareth Davies write in a research note. The U.K. digital advertising and marketing-services company's management changes respond to the need for tighter operational control with more focus on operations, controls and efficiencies, the U.K brokerage says. Shares are down 12.40% at 39.00 pence. (


S4 Capital's Cautious Approach Isn't Helpful

0852 GMT - S4 Capital's guidance for the year ahead is much more cautious than expected, and will lead to consensus downgrades, Citi analysts Thomas A Singlehurst and Praveen Shetty write in a research note. The U.K. digital advertising and marketing-services company exposure to tech clients and project-based work put it at a disadvantage to its peers with larger capacity to manage media buying and planning well, the analysts say. However, the group's balance sheet seems more robust than expected which reduce risks, the U.S. bank says. Shares are down 10.15% at 40.00 pence. (


Time to Lock in Higher Bond Yields With Rate Cycles Peaking

0757 GMT - It may be time to lock in higher bond yields with rate cycles peaking in developed markets, Lombard Odier's senior macro strategists Bill Papadakis and Homin Lee say as they remain overweight on fixed income. "Yield curves are increasingly reflecting this new reality, as short-term rates fall faster than longer term ones," they say. The Swiss wealth and asset manager's earlier focus on U.S. Treasurys now extends to euro and U.K. sovereign bonds, and it retains a bias to add duration as rate cuts unfold. Lombard Odier's portfolios now have more exposure to core assets, including fixed income and private assets, to reflect the environment of higher "neutral" interest rates and asset class returns. (


Old Mutual's New Business Beat is Encouraging

0741 GMT - Old Mutual's 2023 performance was encouraging, mainly due to robust sales growth and profit in line with expectations, Citi analysts Andrew Baker and James Shuck say in a note. The pan-African financial-services group delivered 2H Life APE sales of ZAR8.36 billion, 30% ahead of Visible Alpha consensus and 22% above Citi estimate, they say. This was driven by robust savings sales in Old Mutual Corporate and resilient retail and corporate sales in East Africa, the analysts say. However, the cost-of-living crisis is adding pressure on persistency and new business, which hampers the turnaround prospects, they warn.(

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03-27-24 1324ET