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FTSE 100 Slips 0.2%, Dragged by BHP

08/18/2021 | 10:14am EST

The FTSE 100 fell on Wednesday, with BHP once again driving London's blue-chip index. BHP had led Tuesday's gains after reporting results and confirming that it has agreed to sell its oil-and-gas unit to Australia's Woodside Petroleum. However, shares in the mining giant plunged 5.9% on Wednesday, dragging the FTSE 100 0.2% lower. "Its decision to scrap its London dual listing has relegated it to the bottom of the index, prompting any index trackers to start the process of offloading some of their holdings," Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said. BHP's mining peers fell too, mirroring drops in copper prices. Conversely, Just Eat Takeaway.com built on Tuesday's gains and rose 5.2%. The Amsterdam-based food-delivery company was London's best performer on Wednesday.

 
Companies News: 

Philip Morris Buys 22.61% Stake in Vectura in Market Purchases

Philip Morris International Inc. said Wednesday that it has acquired a 22.61% stake in Vectura Group PLC through market purchases and that it is seeking to buy more shares in the market.

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Old Mutual Sees 1H Recovery in Sales, Profit, But Raises Covid-19 Provision

Old Mutual Ltd. said Wednesday that it experienced a recovery in sales and earnings for the first half of the year, but that it has increased its Covid-19 provisions to take into account expectations of further coronavirus waves.

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Balfour Beatty Swung to 1H Profit, Returns to Dividend List

Balfour Beatty PLC on Wednesday reported a swing to profit for the first half of the year, backed its full-year guidance and returned to the dividend list.

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Persimmon 1H Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose

Persimmon PLC said Wednesday that first-half pretax profit and revenue rose and that it anticipates delivering around 10% growth in sales completions this year.

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Novacyt 1H Revenue Rose 50%; Backs 2021 Guidance

Novacyt SA said Wednesday that revenue for the first half of 2021 rose 50% and it reiterated its full-year revenue guidance.

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Angling Direct 1H Revenue Rises Despite Virus-Related Store Closures

Angling Direct PLC on Wednesday reported a rise in revenue for the first half of fiscal 2022 despite its stores being closed at the start of the year due to coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions.

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Falanx Group Sees Narrowed FY 2021 Adjusted Loss; Gets Loan

Falanx Group Ltd. said Wednesday that it anticipates a narrowed adjusted loss for fiscal 2021 thanks to cost controls, and said that it has received a new loan to support investment and potential acquisitions.

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Hochschild 1H Pretax Profit, Revenue Rise

Hochschild Mining PLC said Wednesday that pretax profit for the first half rose as revenue increased, and backed its production guidance for the year.

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Likewise Group Shares Jump in Stock Market Debut

Shares of Likewise Group PLC jumped as much as 28% in early trade Wednesday as the company started trading on London's junior AIM, implying a market capitalization of 61.6 million pounds ($84.6 million).

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Rotork Launches Buyback Program of Up to GBP50 Mln

Rotork PLC said Wednesday that it is launching a share buyback program of up to 50 million pounds ($68.7 million) to return cash to shareholders.

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Jadestone Energy 1H Production Ahead of Plans; Raises Spending Guidance

Jadestone Energy Inc. said Wednesday that production for the first half was slightly ahead of plans and that it has raised spending guidance for the year.

 
Market Talk: 

Persimmon Faces Cost Hurdles Despite Rising Profit

0911 GMT - Persimmon drops 2% after the U.K. house-builder reported higher first-half pretax profit and revenue, but said that it was facing increased costs. "There were plenty of positives in 1H results, but also a big clanging alarm bell in terms of cost inflation," AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says. "A buoyant housing market is drowning out issues like labor availability and rising raw-material costs. However, the risk for Persimmon and its peer group is that a softening in house prices, with the government set to scale back its support for the market fairly imminently and pent-up demand during the pandemic likely to ease at some point, leaves them exposed to margin pressure." (philip.waller@wsj.com)

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Persimmon Has Outperformed Pre-Pandemic Levels

0732 GMT - House builder Persimmon has seen improvement from the levels it experienced pre-pandemic, and is strongly ahead of last year's comparatives, Richard Hunter at Interactive Investor says. However, the current cost inflation of building, which is running between 4.5% and 5%, is seen as a red flag, Hunter says. Furthermore, the company first-half results don't encompass any effects that the end of the stamp duty holiday may have had, and the forthcoming removal of the U.K. government's furlough scheme may put pressure on both unemployment levels and consumer confidence, Hunter says. "Persimmon continues to build on its strengths, with a healthy order book, robust balance sheet and careful management of the factors within its control all underpinning progress," he says. (anthony.orunagoriainoff@dowjones.com)

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-18-21 1214ET

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