The FTSE 100 closed Friday up 0.57%, reaching its highest level since Oct. 19. The index was boosted by a rebound in oil prices from five-month lows, lifting the like of BP and Shell, while its second largest supermarket Sainsbury also had a solid session, bouncing to its highest price in almost two years after Goldman Sachs upgraded it to buy, CMC Markets UK chief market analyst Michael Hewson says in a research note. A decline in Anglo American did take some of the sheen off the index's gains, after the miner warned it plans to make production cuts next year in order to reduce costs and boost prices, Hewson says.


Telecom Operators Get $3.78 Bln Claim for End-of-Contract Overcharging

London-based law firm Charles Lyndon has started proceedings against Vodafone Group, EE, O2 and Three seeking 3 billion pounds ($3.78 billion) over claims the companies overcharged customers at the end of minimum service contracts.


Berkeley Group Extends Guidance as Pretax Profit Rises on Higher Selling Prices

Berkeley Group Holdings has extended its guidance by an extra year as it reported a rise in pretax profit for the first half year on higher average prices and despite selling fewer houses.


IG Group Holdings Names Breon Corcoran as New CEO

IG Group Holdings has appointed Breon Corcoran as chief executive officer from Jan. 29, replacing June Felix who stepped down in August due to health reasons.


Christie Group to Miss Forecasts on Transaction Delays

Christie Group said that it will miss full-year adjusted profit market expectations due to delays in transactions moving into next year as buyers and vendors avoid pre-Christmas disruption to their businesses.


Artisanal Spirits Shares Dive on Profit Warning

Artisanal Spirits shares fell 22% after the company said that revenue for the year will be below market forecasts due to a weaker performance in China over the fourth quarter and lower-than-expected sales of its 50th anniversary program.


Berkeley Group Looks a Good Pick for Long-Term Investment

1113 GMT - Berkeley Group looks a very well-run business, which continues to focus hard on medium- to longer-term value generation and shareholder returns in particular, Peel Hunt says. The house builder's results delivered no major surprises, and the possibility it could return a large amount of capital after fiscal 2027 is interesting, Peel Hunt analysts says in a research note. "In the short term there are probably better-value plays in the sector, but for those with long-term investment horizons, Berkeley should remain of interest," the brokerage says. Shares are down 2.3% at 4,825.0 pence. (


Berkeley Group Continues to Deliver on Returns for Shareholders

1112 GMT - Berkeley Group is a cash cow that continues to deliver the goods, setting itself apart from peers, RBC Capital Markets says. The house builder's stock tends to perform well in a good market, and the company often gives money back to shareholders in a bad one, RBC analysts say. Meanwhile, its early Christmas present to investors is a commitment to return all post-tax profits to shareholders if it hasn't started to deploy capital into new investments by the end of fiscal 2027, they add. Berkeley's market may be challenging, but that hasn't deterred it from reiterating guidance for fiscal 2024 and fiscal 2025 and providing guidance for the year after that, the Canadian bank says. Shares are down 2% at 4,843.0 pence. (


Berkeley Group Making Tough Choices But Investors Are Being Rewarded

1109 GMT - Berkeley Group is making some hard choices to keep itself in resilient shape, deciding against investing in new developments given the difficult backdrop and tough regulatory and planning environment, Interactive Investor says. That said, the house builder's upgrade to its medium-term outlook gives both extra visibility and comfort to investors, who have so far been rewarded for their patience as its share price gains outperform peers and the wider FTSE 100, Interactive's Richard Hunter says in a research note. "While investor sentiment is clearly far from having turned the corner, the market consensus of the shares as a strong hold demonstrates a degree of optimism which is hard to find elsewhere in the sector at present," Hunter says. Shares are down 1.9% at 4,845.0 pence. (


Sainsbury's Market-Share Momentum Has Improved, Says Goldman Sachs

1053 GMT - J Sainsbury's shares are among the biggest FTSE 100 risers, up 3% to 300 pence after Goldman Sachs upgraded the U.K. grocer to buy from neutral and increased its price target to 350p from 305p. While agricultural commodity prices remain elevated, food retailers and suppliers still look likely to have inflation to pass through next year and trading down to cheaper brands looks set to partially reverse as the inflation outlook improves, the bank says. "Sainsbury's has strengthened its positioning through the year, with our proprietary price analysis indicating it has closed the price gap versus Aldi, becoming the second of the big four to do so," Goldman analysts write. "Consequently, Sainsbury's has seen strongly improving market-share momentum." (


Berkeley Group Performing Well But Planning Pressures Weigh

1050 GMT - Berkeley Group is on track to meet guidance for the next two years despite a difficult market backdrop, but news it isn't investing in new developments due to a volatile planning and regulatory environment is telling, AJ Bell says, noting a fall in first-half sales volumes. The house builder is finding under-resourced local planning departments unable to approve projects in a timely fashion, a key bugbear for the industry, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a research note. "However, an increase in profit from Berkeley, during tough times, shows it continues to be near the top of the class in the sector," Mould says. Shares are down 1.9% at 4,845.0 pence. (


Anglo American's Streamlining Should Improve Balance Sheet, Cash Flow

0929 GMT - Anglo American's reshape of its operations will likely result in a stronger operational position with a better balance sheet and cash flow position than previously, RBC Capital Markets analyst Tyler Broda writes in a research note. The majority of the global miner's production cuts seem to be from copper, platinum group metals, coal and diamond assets, Broda says. "We think this new streamlined Anglo American should allow it to shed some of the recently more challenging aspects of the business and addressing this proactively should help the company emerge in a stronger position for the coming years," he says. Shares are down 4.5% at 2,125.00 pence. (


Berkeley Doesn't Seem Deterred by Challenging Market Conditions

0754 GMT - Berkeley shows once again that even in bad market conditions, it gives money back to shareholders, RBC Capital Markets analyst Anthony Codling writes in a research note. "Berkeley Group is a cash cow that continues to deliver the goods," he says. "The, very, early Christmas present is that if it has not started to deploy capital into new investment opportunities by April 30 2027, it will return 100% of profits after tax to shareholders," Codling says. The U.K. house builder also reiterated its guidance for fiscal 2024 and 2025 and extended guidance to fiscal 2026. (

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-08-23 1202ET