Market News: 
FTSE 100: 7105.72  24.00  0.34% 
FTSE 250: 23289.65 80.98  0.35% 
FTSE AIM: 1258.69  1.08   0.09% 

The FTSE 100 rose to a new three-week high Tuesday, largely thanks to a solid second-quarter performance from BP PLC and the banking sector's decent earning numbers, this time from Standard Chartered PLC, says Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. The FTSE 250 has also been buoyed by good results, this time thanks to Direct Line Insurance Group PLC, whose first-half pretax profit rose on lower motor vehicle claims. Energy major BP's shares were boosted after the company raised its dividend and announced a share buyback. But while this is all well and good, it is heavily dependent on OPEC+ keeping prices at their present levels, which given current volatility is by no means easy, Mr. Hewson said.

Companies News: 

Genel Energy Reports 1H Profit, Raises Dividend

Genel Energy PLC on Tuesday reported a profit for the first half of the year and raised the interim dividend.


A.G. Barr Expects 1H Revenue Increase; Backs FY 2022 Guidance

A.G. Barr PLC said Tuesday that it expects revenue for the first half of fiscal 2022 to be around 18% ahead of the prior year's, and backed its guidance for the year.


Bank of Ireland's 1H Operating Profit Rose Materially

Bank of Ireland Group PLC on Tuesday said operating profit increased significantly for the first half of the year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.


Rockhopper Exploration Yet to Receive News on Italian Arbitration Decision

Rockhopper Exploration PLC on Tuesday said that it is yet to receive news regarding the outcome of its arbitration against the Italian government.


Cambridge Cognition 1H Revenue Rose 50%, on Track for Full-Year Profitability

Cambridge Cognition Holdings PLC said Tuesday that it achieved significant growth in revenue in the first half and that it remains on track to be profitable in 2021.


Flowtech Fluidpower 1H Revenue Rose; Sees 2021 in Line With Views

Flowtech Fluidpower PLC said Tuesday that revenue rose for the first half, and that it expects its results for the year to be in line with market expectations.


Rotork 1H Pretax Profit Rises, Declares Dividend; CEO to Step Down Next Year

Rotork PLC on Tuesday reported an 8.2% rise in pretax profit for the first half of the year on revenue that was also slightly higher, returned to the dividend list and reinstated its full-year guidance.


Filtronic Achieved Profitability in FY 2021

Filtronic PLC on Tuesday reported that it swung to a profit in the year ended May 31.


Merit Group Says FY 2021 Pretax Loss Was Wider Than Previously Reported

Merit Group PLC said Tuesday that its pretax loss for the year ended March 31 was 3.1 million pounds ($4.3 million), rather than GBP2.9 million as previously reported.


Clinigen Group Appoints Elmar Schnee as Chairman Starting November

Clinigen Group PLC said Tuesday that it has appointed Elmar Schnee as its new chairman, replacing Peter Allen who will step down at the annual general meeting in November.


NWF Group FY 2021 Pretax Profit Fell; Current Performance in Line With Views

NWF Group PLC said Tuesday that fiscal 2021 pretax profit fell on lower revenue, but that its performance to date in fiscal 2022 has been in line with the board's expectations.


Trinity Exploration Says Chairman Bruce Dingwall Has Been Hospitalized

Trinity Exploration & Production PLC said Tuesday that it has appointed nondirector Nicholas Clayton as interim nonexecutive chairman as Executive Chairman Bruce Dingwall has been recently hospitalized due to a serious health incident.


Aferian Posts Improved 1H Profit; Will Buy Remaining 8% Stake in 24i

Aferian PLC said Tuesday that its profit improved in the first half of the fiscal year, and that it will acquire the remaining 8% minority interest in 24i Unit Media BV.


Gopher Investments Disappointed With Playtech Decision to Sell Finalto to Consortium

Gopher Investments said Tuesday that it is disappointed with Playtech PLC's board regarding the latter's decision to take a Barinboim Group-led consortium offer to buy financial-trading arm Finalto and not change its recommendation on the offer.


Restore Reiterates Marlowe Takeover Bid Rejection, Notes Shareholder Support

Restore PLC said Tuesday that it has reiterated its unanimous rejection of Marlowe PLC's unsolicited 743 million pounds ($1.03 billion) takeover bid and that it has received strong support from shareholders.

Market Talk: 

Mine Worker Strikes Could Offset Copper Demand Weakness

0954 GMT - BHP's Escondida workers have voted to strike and there is risk of similar action at Codelco's Andina and JX Nippon's Caserones as well, Jefferies says. These mines in Chile account for 7% of global copper mine supply, Jefferies says. The disruptions could offset copper demand weakness in the very near term and limit downside to prices before the market strengthens going into the end of the year, the bank says. "Copper mining equities have begun to recover from the recent pullback but are not yet reflecting further significant increases to the copper price, in our view," Jefferies says. The bank has a buy rating on Freeport-McMoRan, First Quantum Minerals and Glencore.


BP's Dividend Raise Comes Earlier Than Expected

0932 GMT - BP has increased its quarterly dividend by 4%, an earlier-than-expected change in policy, Barclays says. In addition, better surplus free cash flow has translated into a step-up in buybacks, which reflects strong performance from the underlying business, the British bank says. "We expect a positive reaction to BP's results and enhanced shareholder returns," Barclays says. Shares in the oil company rise 4.5%. Moreover, Barclays notes that BP's strategy is progressing well, as the company has built a 21-gigawatt renewable pipeline since it announced its new strategy, and four major projects began production in the second quarter.


Standard Chartered's Share Buyback Bodes Well

0923 GMT - Standard Chartered gains 1.6% after the emerging-market bank said second-quarter profit jumped 69% as its recovery continued to pick up on easing credit impairments. The bank has followed the trend set by more U.K.-focused rivals, with big bad loan releases boosting the bottom line even as lower interest rates squeeze revenues, Hargreaves Lansdown says. "However, unlike its U.K. counterparts, a majority of overall revenue comes from non-interest rate-related fees and commissions and that should stand it in better stead once the bumper period at the start of the pandemic is behind us," HL analyst Nicholas Hyett says, adding that the bank's decision to buy back $250 million of shares is a vote of confidence in its revenue outlook.


Fresnillo 1H Matched Hopes, But Costs Weigh on Outlook

0912 GMT - Fresnillo's first-half results broadly matched expectations, but the Mexican silver miner's costs are a risk, according to Citigroup. Pretax earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization of $747 million compared to company-compiled consensus at $753 million, though the key trend from the interim results was cost pressure, Citi says. Adjusted costs rose 20% year-on-year compared to company guidance for a 10% full-year increase, the investment bank says. "Earnings momentum for Fresnillo is likely to sustain in 2H, with commodity prices staying high, while production is expected to further ramp up. However, costs remain a key risk," Citi analysts say. Shares rise 2.3%.


BP's Dividend, Buyback Boost Is Higher Than Expected

0851 GMT - BP's shareholder distribution boost is higher than expected, Jefferies says, noting the quarterly dividend increase and $1.4 billion share buyback for 3Q. The oil-and-gas company also plans a $1 billion quarterly buyback and 4% annual dividend growth through 2025, which is at the high end of expectations, Jefferies says. The updated remuneration implies a 10% yield and brings BP into the top end of the sector range, the bank says. Jefferies says it continues to see greater upside potential in Shell. Shares rise 3.0% to 298.5 pence.


BP Investors Cheer Higher-Than-Expected Returns, Profit

0851 GMT - Shares in BP top the FTSE 100 risers, up 3% after the oil major's second-quarter results topped expectations and it increased shareholder returns. RBC Capital Markets described the underlying results as decent, with adjusted net income of $2.8 billion beating market consensus of $2.15bn, driven by oil production and operations and lower-than-expected tax. RBC also highlights BP's plans to buy back $1.4bn in shares in the next quarter, versus expectations of between $500-$1bn, and to raise its dividend. "With many of its peers announcing higher shareholder distributions, BP looks to be addressing one of the concerns with its investment case--lack of dividend-per-share growth," RBC says.


Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-931


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 03, 2021 12:23 ET (16:23 GMT)

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