The FTSE 100 closed up 1.0% at 7747.81 points on Tuesday despite unemployment rising to 3.9% but annual wage growth remaining higher than the Bank of England's liking at 6.1%. "European indices have opened higher with the FTSE 100 leading the charge. China-sensitive stocks on the U.K. blue chip index are staging gains with Prudential and Standard Chartered both up over 2.5%," Interactive Investor Head of Investment Victoria Scholar wrote in a note. Entain was the day's highest riser, up 3.8%, followed by Beazley and JD Sports Fashion, up 3.6% and 3.2% respectively. Persimmon, Severn Trent and SSE were the session's biggest fallers, down 3.7%, 2.3% and 1.9% respectively.


Old Mutual Expects Earnings Increase

Old Mutual said it expects to report a rise in adjusted earnings per share for 2023 and that it was finalizing its results.


Persimmon's Pretax Profit Falls on Market Headwinds

Persimmon narrowly missed market views for last year's pretax profit and revenue amid a persistently tough, albeit improving, market backdrop, while it expects housing completion to rise this year.


FirstGroup Forecasts Profit, Earnings Beat; Rail Division Performs Ahead of Expectations

FirstGroup said the performance of its First Rail division has been slightly ahead of expectations and that it sees its financial-year adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings slightly ahead of the board's previous views.


Domino's Pizza Group to Take Control of Irish Business in EUR72 Mln Deal

Domino's Pizza Group is buying the remaining 85% of Shorecal, its franchise in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, for 72 million euros ($78.7 million), giving it full control of the business.


MC Mining Says Vulcan Resources Won't Proceed With Formal Takeover Offer

MC Mining said Vulcan Resources won't proceed with a formal offer, following its indicative takeover proposal that valued MC Mining at up to 81.6 million Australian dollars ($54 million).


TP ICAP Posts Fall in Pretax Profit, Considers Options for Data Unit

TP ICAP Group is considering the listing of a minority stake in Parameta Solutions as one of the options for its data unit, it said as it reported a slight fall in pretax profit.


Costain's Pretax Profit, Revenue Fall on Lower Volumes

Costain Group said pretax profit and revenue fell, dragged by lower volumes, but that it was well-positioned for further profit and cash-generation growth.


Domino's U.K. Lifts New-Store Target As Profit Rises

Domino's Pizza Group said pretax profit for 2023 rose supported by a disposal and new store openings, and updated its medium-term store target.


News Corp., Daily Mail Owner Held Talks on Telegraph Newspaper Bid, Bloomberg Reports

News Corp.'s News UK unit and Daily Mail and General Trust discussed a potential joint bid for the Telegraph newspaper alongside investment fund RedBird IMI, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources.


Daily Mail, News UK Aren't in Talks Over Telegraph Bid, Sources Say

The Daily Mail and News Corp.'s News UK haven't held talks on a potential joint bid for the Telegraph newspaper, according to sources close to the matter.


Volvo Car Invests in Battery-Technology Company Breathe Battery Technologies

STOCKHOLM--Volvo Car has invested in battery-technology company Breathe Battery Technologies and will integrate the company's software into its battery-management platform for next generation fast charging.


IHS Hires JPMorgan Chase to Weigh Strategic Alternatives After Nigerian Naira Tumbles

IHS Holding said it is working with advisers, including JPMorgan Chase, to weigh strategic alternatives for the business, which has been dragged down by the rapid devaluation of the currency in Nigeria, IHS' biggest market.


Entain Hires Advisor for Possible Sale of Online Poker Business, Sky News Reports

-- Entain has hired Oakvale Capital to find a buyer for its non-core online poker business, which could fetch around 150 million pounds ($192.2 million), Sky News reports, citing unnamed sources.


EU Agreement on Rules for Platform Workers Is Positive for Deliveroo, Delivery Hero

1148 GMT - An agreement backed by EU employment and social affairs ministers over rules for gig-economy employees could be seen as a positive for Deliveroo and Delivery Hero, Deutsche Bank analysts write in a research note. Deliveroo and Delivery Hero mostly rely on freelance workers, the analysts say, and the rules remove the risk of stricter regulation at EU level since the agreement leaves it up to individual member states to determine whether workers should be classified as employees. Deliveroo shares are up 0.9% at 115 pence, while Delivery Hero shares are up 4.5% at EUR26.77. (


Domino's Pizza Group's Expansion Plans Could Cannibalize Sales

1109 GMT - Domino's Pizza Group's plans to increase the number of stores brings concerns over the saturation point given that the U.K. market is well served, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a note. "The danger, which has spooked the market before, is that new stores cannibalize the sales of existing sites," he says. Added to that, the 4Q sales slowdown might be related to the high price of individual pizzas rather than the consumer backdrop, Mould notes. On the positive side, costs are going in the right direction and the pizza chain--holder of the master franchise agreement to own, operate and franchise Domino's stores in the U.K. and Ireland--seeks to reduce them further by upgrading and increasing the use of technology in its infrastructure and supply chain, Mould adds. Shares are down 7%, but up 31% on a 12-month basis. (


Bank of England Likely Cheered as Jobs Market Loosened a Little

1046 GMT - The Bank of England will take some heart from signs of cooling in the U.K. jobs market, Investec economist Ellie Henderson writes in a note. Unemployment ticked up slightly at the start of the year, concurrent with a minor easing in the pace of average wage growth, figures show Tuesday. The BOE's forecasts for a further slowing in salary increases should be achieved, not least because of helpful base effects, Henderson says. "The Bank of England will likely be encouraged by this report," she says. This keeps the door open to a first cut in interest rates in June, Henderson says. (; @joshualeokirby)


Domino's Pizza Group Looks Set for Long-Term Growth

1043 GMT - Domino's Pizza Group reported a 2023 performance without surprises, but showed a positive focus on earnings-enhancing acquisitions and longer-term objectives, Liberum analysts Wayne Brown and Anubhav Malhotra say in a note, upgrading the stock to buy from hold. The holder of the master franchise agreement to own, operate and franchise Domino's stores in the U.K. and Ireland could be entering into a period of long-term earnings and cash flow upgrades as numerous growth pillars are now coming to the fore, they say. "We upgrade our bottom end of the range forecasts to reflect an improved outlook despite the slow start to the year," the analysts add. The negative price reaction, however, is likely due to weak near-term sales performance, they add. Shares are down 7.2%, but up 30% on a 12-month basis. (


Persimmon's Stable Dividend Provides Relief as Well as Concern

1013 GMT - Persimmon could have merely delayed a difficult decision when it maintained a stable dividend given the uncertain market backdrop it continues to face, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a market comment. "It's not the typical response from a company which has just seen its annual profits halve," Mould says. While a pivot in U.K. interest rates looks plausible near-term, the political instability from the general election later in the year is anticipated to hurt sales, he says. "Persimmon's hope is that in the long term pent-up demand remains and that, as mortgages become more affordable and some of the uncertainty fades, it can see a return to happier times." Shares are down 2.2% at 1,345.00 pence. (


British American Tobacco's ITC Stake Sale Could Accelerate Buyback Plans

1008 GMT - British American Tobacco's potential disposal of a small part of its shareholding in Indian conglomerate ITC could mean buybacks sooner rather than later, Jefferies analyst Owen Bennett says in a note. The cigarette maker said it is planning to sell down part of its ITC stake, confirming reports that a sale could happen as soon as this week. Assuming British American Tobacco sells down 4% of its shares, this would equate to $1.9 billion gross proceeds, the analyst says. "We believe this could have implications for potentially starting a buyback ahead of year-end 2024 as currently expected, possibly at half-year," the analyst adds. Shares are up 1.2%, but down 25% on a 12-month basis. (

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-12-24 1307ET