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FTSE 100 Slides 1.5% as Commodity Prices Plunge

08/19/2021 | 10:15am EDT

The U.K.'s commodity-heavy FTSE 100 fell 1.5% on Thursday as shares in its major natural resource companies plunged. "Mining stocks have fallen into a hole, along with iron ore and copper prices, as Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP and Rio Tinto all fall back sharply, as Chinese cuts to steel production announced earlier this month hit demand and consumption for iron ore," Michael Hewson from CMC Markets UK said. In addition, BP plummetted 4.9% and Shell declined 3.9%, as oil prices hit three-month lows. But the worst performer on Thursday was luxury brand Burberry, reflecting concerns about Chinese wealth distribution. Conversely, Just Eat Takeway.com shareholders continued their winning streak. The Amsterdam-based food-delivery group rose 2.4% and was the FTSE 100's top gainer on Thursday.

 
Companies News: 

UK Government Intervenes in Ultra Electronics Takeover by Advent's Cobham

The U.K. government said late Wednesday that it is intervening in Ultra Electronics Holdings PLC's proposed 2.57 billion pounds ($3.53 billion) takeover by Advent International Corp.'s Cobham Group Holdings Ltd. on national security grounds.

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Rank Group Swung to FY 2021 Pretax Loss on Pandemic Hit

Rank Group PLC said Thursday that it swung to a pretax loss for fiscal 2021 as revenue took a hit from venue closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, but said it has made encouraging progress since its U.K. venues reopened.

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Antofagasta 1H Profit, Revenue Rose

Antofagasta PLC said Thursday that profit for the first half rose as revenue increased, and that it was lowering its copper production for the year.

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Helios Towers 2Q Adjusted Earnings, Revenue Rose

Helios Towers PLC said Thursday that adjusted earnings for the second quarter rose on the back of higher revenue, and reiterated its outlook for the full year.

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OSB Group 1H Pretax Profit More Than Doubled

OSB Group PLC said Thursday that pretax profit for the first half of 2021 more than doubled, driven by a release of impairment provisions and a lower cost of retail funds.

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McBride Warns on Fiscal 2022 Earnings; Blames Distribution Challenges, Costs

McBride PLC on Thursday warned that fiscal 2022 adjusted pretax profit will be up to 65% below fiscal 2021 market consensus, blaming distribution challenges due to a shortage of drivers and raw-material price increases.

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Calnex Solutions 1Q 2022 Performance in Line With Views

Calnex Solutions PLC said Thursday that performance and order levels for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 are in line with the board's expectations.

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Marshalls 1H Profit, Revenue Grew; Raises Expectations

Marshalls PLC on Thursday raised expectations for this year and next after first-half profit jumped.

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Robinson Shares Fall on Swing to 1H Pretax Loss

Shares in Robinson PLC fell Thursday after the company said that it swung to a pretax loss for the first half of the year after booking higher costs, and that it expects the lower-than-normal level of demand seen in the third quarter to continue in the second half.

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Tremor International Shares in London Rise After Swing to 2Q Pretax Profit

London-listed shares in Tremor International Ltd. rose Thursday after the company said it swung to a second-quarter pretax profit as revenue more than doubled.

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Calnex Solutions 1Q 2022 Performance in Line With Views

Calnex Solutions PLC said Thursday that performance and order levels for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 are in line with the board's expectations.

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Wood Group Agrees on $600 Mln Loan From UK Export Finance For Low-Carbon Investment

John Wood Group PLC said Thursday that it has agreed on a $600 million loan from UK Export Finance, the export credit agency of the U.K. government, linked to energy transition.

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Intelligent Ultrasound 1H Pretax Loss Widened on Higher Costs

Intelligent Ultrasound Group PLC said Thursday its first-half loss widened as higher costs offset an increase in revenue.

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Helium One Shares Jump on Start of Drilling Operations at Tanzania Project

Shares in Helium One Group Ltd. rose Thursday after the company said it has started exploration drilling at its Tai-2 exploration well in its fully-owned Rukwa project in Tanzania.

 
Market Talk: 

InterContinental Hotels Outlook is Stabilizing

0937 GMT - InterContinental Hotels Group is approaching a more stable future, Peel Hunt says, increasing its recommendation on the hotelier to hold from reduce. "Early next year, after removing more under-performing hotels, we expect net system growth to return, and for this to have a positive impact on sentiment," Peel analysts say. "We continue to expect the hotel cycle recovery to be prolonged. The recent increase in geopolitical tension and more mixed news on the progression of Covid-19 in the US may weigh on IHG's share price in the short term. However, after the recent weakness, we're upgrading our recommendation to hold from reduce while reiterating our 4600p target price." Shares fall 1.5% to 4443p. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Antofagasta Shares Pull Back, But Copper Prices Should Rally Again, Peel Hunt Says

0926 GMT - Antofagasta shares have pulled back in the short term, dragged by the present slowdown in the rates of growth in China, Peel Hunt says. However, the U.K. brokerage says it would use these pull backs to add to positions, as it continues to expect copper prices to rally over the next two years. Near-term copper prices have fallen 10% over the last three months, but are up 36% over the last 12, according to FactSet. "We continue to think that Antofagasta shares offer appealing exposure to copper, a metal that looks to be of increasing importance as the world grapples with efforts to decarbonize," Peel Hunt says. (jaime.llinares@wsj.com)

Antofagasta Falls After Cutting Full-Year Production Guidance

0902 GMT - Shares in Antofagasta drop 5% after the Chilean copper miner said it was reducing its full-year copper production forecast due to adverse weather conditions. The company said it expects to produce 710,000-740,000 metric tons, compared with previous guidance of 730,000-760,000 tons. "As announced at the production update, the record drought conditions in Chile continue to weigh," RBC Capital Markets analyst Tyler Broda says. "We continue to see ANTO in a challenging position, with the overhang of Chilean tax reforms still, in our view, not fully in the price. We maintain our underperform recommendation." (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Antofagasta's 2021 Guidance Cut Could Drive Downgrades to Earnings Expectations

0857 GMT - Shares in Antofagasta drop 5.1% after the mining company cut 2021 copper production guidance to 710,000-740,000 metric tons from 730,000-760,000 tons, and as near-term prices for the red metal fall. The guidance cut for this year is a headline negative and could be a driver for a downgrade in earnings forecasts for 2021, Citi says. Antofagasta also highlighted volume risk of 50,000 tons for 2022 as drought conditions in Chile are continuing to worsen, the bank says. On a positive note, growth projects are mostly on track and 1H cash flow was strong, Citi says. The bank has a neutral rating on Antofagasta. (jaime.llinares@wsj.com)

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; paul.larkins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-19-21 1215ET

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