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London midday: FTSE falls further; Crest Nicholson tumbles on profit warning

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 13 Jun 2024

London midday: FTSE falls further; Crest Nicholson tumbles on profit warning

(Sharecast News) - London stocks had fallen further by midday on Thursday as investors mulled the latest policy announcement from the US Federal Reserve, with Crest Nicholson under the cosh after a profit warning.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.5% at 8,174.31.

The Fed held interest rates on Wednesday at between 5.25% and 5.5% and marked down its forecast for the number of rate cuts this year to just one from three in March.

Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Expectations for the number of rates cuts this year have fallen to just one, as policymakers make it very clear that loosening conditions isn't a priority until there's a clear sign it's what the economy needs. While consumer prices stayed flat in May, they're still up on a yearly view.

"Unemployment remains at levels that can't be sustained in the long-term. In tandem, all these points mean the US economy remains pretty rock solid, and bigger cracks need to be seen before the Fed will change the status quo."

On home shores, a survey released earlier by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed that the recovery in the housing market "slipped into reverse" in May after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a general election.

The monthly net balance of house prices fell to -17 from a downwardly revised -7 in April, marking the lowest reading since January.

Meanwhile, the RICS new buyer enquiries gauge fell to -8 in May from -1 in April. This marked the lowest reading since November.

RICS senior economist Tarrant Parsons said: "The recent recovery across the UK housing market appears to have slipped into reverse of late, with buyer demand losing momentum slightly on the back of the upward moves seen in mortgage rates over the past couple of months.

"Nevertheless, expectations point to this delaying, rather than derailing, a modest improvement going forward."

In equity markets, Intermediate Capital, Land Securities, JD Sports, Compass and LondonMetric all fell as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson tumbled as it slashed its interim dividend payment after swinging to a loss in the first half, and substantially scaled back its profit guidance for the full year.

Wise also slid as the banking and money transfer company said it expects current fiscal year underlying income to grow less than in 2024.

St James's Place fell as it appointed the chief financial officer of Credit Suisse's UK operations - Caroline Waddington - as its new CFO, replacing Craig Gentle who will be retiring from the business after six years leading the finance function.

On the upside, Halma surged to the top of the FTSE 100 after it reported another year of record profit and revenue as it hailed a solid performance in the safety and the environment & analysis sectors. In the year to the end of March 2024, adjusted pre-tax profit rose 10% to £396.4m on revenue of £2.03bn, up 10% on the previous year.

BT Group rallied after Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim took a 3.2% stake in the telecoms firm. According to a regulatory filing late on Wednesday, the stake - worth around £400m - was taken by Slim's family business Inbursa.



Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 8,174.31 -0.50%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,351.90 -0.71%
techMARK (TASX) 4,810.19 -0.11%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Halma (HLMA) 2,606.00p 10.89%
BT Group (BT.A) 133.00p 2.78%
Relx plc (REL) 3,596.00p 0.67%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 257.80p 0.55%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,393.00p 0.50%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 350.30p 0.40%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,550.00p 0.23%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 8,202.00p 0.10%
BAE Systems (BA.) 1,389.00p 0.04%
Tesco (TSCO) 302.20p 0.03%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) 2,232.00p -5.10%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 622.50p -3.11%
Fresnillo (FRES) 538.50p -2.89%
Croda International (CRDA) 4,175.00p -2.22%
RS Group (RS1) 716.00p -1.98%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 885.80p -1.90%
Kingfisher (KGF) 258.50p -1.79%
Prudential (PRU) 712.80p -1.74%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 122.30p -1.69%
Entain (ENT) 678.60p -1.68%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 3,865.00p 3.76%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 155.00p 2.51%
HICL Infrastructure (HICL) 124.80p 2.46%
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 68.00p 2.41%
Renishaw (RSW) 4,065.00p 2.01%
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 1,254.00p 1.79%
North Atlantic Smaller Companies Inv Trust (NAS) 4,010.00p 1.52%
Chemring Group (CHG) 384.00p 1.32%
Jlen Environmental Assets Group Limited NPV (JLEN) 85.40p 1.30%
Asia Dragon Trust (DGN) 403.00p 1.26%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 221.00p -8.22%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 2,415.00p -5.29%
OSB Group (OSB) 450.40p -4.21%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 305.70p -3.17%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 402.20p -3.13%
Mobico Group (MCG) 49.46p -3.02%
LondonMetric Property (LMP) 196.20p -2.97%
Abrdn (ABDN) 146.60p -2.95%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 439.80p -2.70%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 174.80p -2.67%

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