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London Shares Rise as Omicron Jitters Fade

12/07/2021 | 06:15am EST

FTSE 100 Rises as Omicron Jitters Fade

The FTSE 100 rises 1.1% to a near three-week high of 7317 points, according to FactSet. "After a strong session to kick off the week with the FTSE 100 rallying more than 1.5%, the U.K. index is enjoying gains once again alongside the other major European bourses as some of the Omicron jitters begin to taper at least for now," Interactive Investor analyst Victoria Scholar says. Ferguson advances 4.8% after the plumbing and heating products distributor raised its full-year outlook following a strong first quarter. Ashtead Group gains 2.6% after the equipment rental company posted higher second-quarter profit and lifted its full-year expectations. Mining shares gain as commodity prices rise after the People's Bank of China eased monetary policy.

 
Companies News: 

Liontrust to Buy Majedie Asset Management for GBP120 Mln

Liontrust Asset Management PLC said Tuesday that it is buying Majedie Asset Management Ltd. for 120 million pounds ($159.2 million) in shares and cash, a deal that will boost Liontrust's existing institutional proposition.

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W.H. Ireland Group 1H Pretax Profit Fell as Revenue Rose

W.H. Ireland Group PLC said Tuesday that first-half pretax profit decreased as revenue rose.

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Supreme 1H Pretax Profit Rose on Higher Revenue, Declares Dividend

Supreme PLC said Tuesday that its pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 has increased, backed by higher revenue, and it declared a dividend payout.

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Carr's FY 2021 Profit, Revenue Rose Ahead of Management Views

Carr's Group PLC said Tuesday that its fiscal 2021 pretax profit and revenue rose ahead of management's improved expectations, and raised its dividend.

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Tritax EuroBox FY 2021 Profit Rose

Tritax EuroBox PLC said Tuesday that its fiscal 2021 profit rose on increased rental income and improved property valuations.

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Premier Miton Group FY 2021 Pretax Profit Rose, Increases Dividend

Premier Miton Group PLC on Tuesday posted a rise in pretax profit for fiscal 2021 and increased its dividend payout.

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CareTech FY 2021 Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose; Increases Final Dividend

CareTech Holdings PLC said Tuesday that fiscal 2021 pretax profit and revenue rose, and that it has increased the final dividend after robust performance in its core activities.

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Paragon Banking FY 2021 Pretax Profit Rose on Credit Loss Provision Release

Paragon Banking Group PLC on Tuesday reported an 80% rise in pretax profit for fiscal 2021 as it released Covid-based provisions booked previously against credit losses.

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Somero Enterprises Raises Guidance on Strong 2H Performance

Somero Enterprises Inc. said Tuesday that it has raised its guidance for 2021 after experiencing strong business momentum in the second half of the year.

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Shanta Gold Shares Drop After Cutting 2021 Production Guidance

Shares in Shanta Gold Ltd. fell Tuesday after it downgraded full-year gold production guidance for its New Luika mine in Tanzania.

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Mercia Asset Management 1H Pretax Profit Rose on Higher Revenue

Mercia Asset Management PLC on Tuesday reported a 38% rise in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 and said it expects the strong momentum to continue.

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Tandem Group Sees 2021 Profit in Line With or Ahead of Market Views

Tandem Group PLC said Tuesday that it expects to report a profit for 2021 in line with or slightly ahead of market expectations as it benefits from a robust performance.

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Franchise Brands CFO Chris Dent to Step Down After 2021 Results

Franchise Brands PLC said Tuesday that Chief Financial Officer Chris Dent will leave the company shortly after it releases its results for 2021 to take up the post of CFO at UP Global Sourcing Holdings PLC.

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Sivota Agrees to $12.0 Mln Reverse Takeover of Apester; Shares Are Suspended

Sivota PLC said Tuesday that it has agreed to take a controlling stake in Apester Ltd. in a reverse takeover for $12.0 million, and as such trading of its shares have been suspended.

 
Market Talk: 

Liontrust's Majedie Purchase Is a Surprise

1049 GMT - U.K. sustainability-focused investment manager Liontrust Asset Management's purchase of Majedie Asset Management Ltd. for GBP120 million is a surprise, Ryan Hughes at AJ Bell says. Although given the company's owner-managed structure and strong independence it wasn't a name mentioned regularly as a takeover target, its ability to tap into Liontrust's wider resources and hopefully grow the assets was clearly a strong pull, Hughes says. "The fund ranges of the two companies look a decent fit, however there is the chance of some consolidation of the enlarged fund range, not least because Liontrust will have 19 funds that each have less than GBP100 million in assets as they still look to tidy up the assets from their previous purchases," Hughes says.

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Ashtead Gets Rental-Revenue Boost From Volume Increase

1014 GMT - Ashtead Group shares rise 3% after the plant-hire group reported higher second-quarter profit and forecast full-year performance ahead of its previous expectations. The latest results show increased volumes of equipment out on loan have driven rental revenue higher, AJ Bell says. "Joe Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill should provide a positive backdrop for Ashtead in the U.S., which is its main operating region. Yet Covid still presents a challenge in 2022," Bell's investment director Russ Mould says. "Any prolonged setbacks to economic activity could have a negative knock-on effect to construction activity, causing project delays. This risk will keep Ashtead on its toes."

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Uber Eats, Deliveroo Seen as Most Exposed to EU Gig-Economy Proposal

0956 GMT - Uber Eats and Deliveroo will likely be the most exposed food delivery platforms to a European Union proposal that could pave the way for gig-economy workers to be treated as employees rather than contractors, Bryan Garnier says. "Deliveroo and Uber Eats will be the most exposed, bearing in mind that both are quite active in Europe, beyond the U.K...[and] rely on freelancers," Bryan Garnier says. On the other hand, the European investment bank sees Just Eat and Germany's Delivery Hero as minimally exposed, citing their existing employment model as well as the relatively low percentage of revenue they generate in the region.

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Ferguson's Strong 1Q Anticipates Further Momentum

0907 GMT - Ferguson's organic sales growth of 24.5% in its first-quarter results show a persistence of fourth-quarter performance, Jefferies says, noting that second-quarter revenue growth should be similar to the first. While market consensus for fiscal 2022 appears to imply second-half revenue growth will taper to negative, Jefferies says this is too bearish a forecast. The bank retains its buy rating on the supplier of plumbing products and 13,992.0 pence price target. Shares are up 4.8% at 12,120 pence.

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SSE Change of Course Could Be Distant Despite Shareholder Pressure

0907 GMT - Following Elliott's letter to SSE calling for the company to separate the renewables and the networks businesses, RBC Capital Markets says it agrees with most points being made by Elliott, although a change of course from SSE management could be some way away. Elliott, one of the largest SSE shareholders, says the group has potential for a 2,100 pence share price, implying GBP5 billion upside from current levels. However, RBC values the FTSE 100 energy company at 1,800 pence. "Hence we see less upside to our valuation on the renewables side and see plenty of attractive alternatives for investors to gain exposure to this there (notably RWE and Enel)," the Canadian bank says.

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Ferguson's Strong 1Q Means Upgrades Are Likely

0859 GMT - Ferguson's strong performance in the first quarter exceeded expectations, and upgrades are likely for both growth and margin performance forecasts given the momentum built up, Citi says. The plumbing-and-heating products distributor's outperformance was driven by strong growth in the U.S. and higher margin performance, while it continues to benefit from inflationary tailwinds and better management of supply-chain pressures, the U.S. bank's Ami Galla says. "We expect upgrades to both consensus organic growth expectations and margin performance on the back of the strong first-quarter growth momentum, and expectations of persistent inflation in finished goods benefiting fiscal 2022," Citi says, retaining its neutral rating and 11,100 pence price target. Shares are up 4.7% at 12,115 pence.

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Sterling Could Stabilize Even if BOE Delays Rate Rise

0754 GMT - The Bank of England is likely to hold off on raising interest rates at its December 16 meeting but that won't have a material impact on sterling, Commerzbank says. "The current coronavirus situation and the uncertainty in this context make a rate hike in December seem increasingly unlikely," Commerzbank currency analyst You-Na Park-Heger says. However, this is largely priced in by the market so sterling could stabilize at current levels for now, she says. GBP/USD rises 0.1% to 1.3280 and EUR/GBP drops 0.1% to 0.8503.

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Write to Sarka Halas at sarka.halas@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-07-21 0615ET

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