The FTSE 100 closed down 2.6% on Monday, reflecting a broader slump in markets world-wide, as investors continue to cut back on their exposure to equities ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday was a brutal start to the week with the selling across global markets threatening to turn into a full-blown rout, IG Group chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp said. "The rush for the exits continues across stock markets, as investors renew their selling of equities, marking one of the most dramatic starts to the year that we have seen since 2018," he said. Investors should expect more volatility this week with more losses likely in store until the Federal Open Market Committee meeting is out of the way and the Fed's current stance becomes clearer, Mr. Beauchamp said.

 
Companies News: 

Belluscura 2021 Demand for Portable Oxygen Concentrator Beats Views

Belluscura PLC said Monday that demand for its portable oxygen concentrator exceeded its views for 2021, and that it remained debt free for the whole year.

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Spirax-Sarco to Buy Cotopaxi for GBP13.3 Mln

Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC said Monday it has agreed to buy Cotopaxi Ltd. from China's Business Intelligence of Oriental Nations Corp. for 13.3 million pounds ($18 million).

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Empyrean Energy Starts Legal Proceedings Against Cyber Fraudster

Empyrean Energy PLC said Monday that it has started legal proceedings in Singapore against the company believed to have committed a cyber fraud.

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Mirriad Advertising Expects Lower 2021 Revenue

Mirriad Advertising PLC said Monday that it expects to report a fall in revenue for 2021 and that year-on-year growth in the U.S. has been strong.

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Gulf Marine Services Expects 2022 Ebitda to Grow In Line With Market Views

Gulf Marine Services PLC on Monday forecast that its earnings will rise in 2022 in line with market expectations.

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TomCo Energy Raises GBP1.3 Mln to Fund Drilling at Utah Site

TomCo Energy PLC said Monday that it has raised 1.3 million pounds ($1.8 million) via share issue to fund three exploration wells at the Tar Sands II site in Utah.

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De La Rue Expects FY 2022 Operating Profit Below Market Views

De La Rue PLC said Monday that it anticipates that adjusted operating profit for fiscal 2022 will be below market expectations because of the impact of the Omicron and Delta Covid-19 variants at manufacturing facilities.

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AdvancedAdvT's Latest Proposal to Buy M&C Saatchi Rejected

AdvancedAdvT Ltd. said Monday that it has submitted an improved takeover proposal to M&C Saatchi PLC which it says has been rejected by the U.K. advertising company.

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Computacenter Expects Rise in 2021 Adjusted Pretax Profit, Revenue

Computacenter PLC said Monday that it expects 2021 adjusted pretax profit and revenue to rise, and that the strength of its performance in the fourth quarter was encouraging as it entered 2022.

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Big Technologies Sees FY 2021 Adjusted Earnings Above Market Views

Big Technologies PLC said Monday that it expects to deliver a performance for the full year above market expectations, boosted by new customer wins.

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Amigo Holdings Warns of Insolvency if New Business Program Isn't Approved

Amigo Holdings PLC said Monday that if its new business program doesn't receive court approval Amigo Loans Ltd. will enter a wind-down program or insolvency.

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Vodafone, Iliad Are Discussing Combination of Italian Units, Reuters Reports

Vodafone Group PLC and Iliad are in talks to combine their units in Italy in a deal that could create a business with revenue of nearly 6 billion euros ($6.81 billion), Reuters reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.

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Spectra Contract Wins to Boost 2022 Revenue by at Least $700,000

Spectra Systems Corp. said Monday that it has secured three contracts worth at least $700,000 of additional unforecasted revenue for 2022.

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Corero Network Security Expects 2021 Swing to Maiden Pretax Profit

Corero Network Security PLC said Monday that it expects to report a swing to maiden pretax profit for 2021, and that revenue is expected to be broadly in-line with market expectations.

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LendInvest Says AuM Reached GBP2 Bln Milestone

LendInvest PLC said assets under management reached the two billion pound ($2.71 billion) milestone as of Jan. 17.

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Microlise Says 2021 Revenue Grew in Line With Views; Warns of Supply Chain Issues

Microlise Group PLC said Monday that 2021 revenue and earnings before interest, taxed, depreciation and amortization grew in line with market expectations, but warned of supply chain issues lasting longer than expected.

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Block Energy Shares Rise on Strong Testing Prospects for JKT-01Z Well

Shares in Block Energy PLC rose Monday after the company said testing on well JKT-01Z in Georgia has commenced and delivered strong results, noting that rapid monetization of the gas production will be achieved.

 
Market Talk: 

Ferrexpo Downgraded as War Fears Mount

1048 GMT - As tensions between Ukraine and Russia rise, and with limited signs that a stand down is imminent, Peel Hunt downgrades iron-ore-pellet producer Ferrexpo to hold from buy. "Should the worst happen and there be an incursion, then there is a risk at the very least that Ferrexpo's operations would be interrupted, limiting exports and production, if not leading to damage to plant and infrastructure," the U.K. investment bank warns. Shares in Ferrexpo are down 23% over the past month. However, Peel Hunt notes that, if signs of a diplomatic solution emerge, this recent sell-off would create a tremendous buying opportunity.

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Unilever Should Sell Non-Core Assets Before Going on a Shopping Spree

1036 GMT - Unilever's bid for GSK's consumer-healthcare business would make more sense if the U.K.-based consumer-goods group were to sell non-core assets first before going on a shopping spree, ING says. With Unilever's strategy update expected to be announced in January, the Dutch bank says the maker of Dove soap needs to win back trust from its investors as the acquisition offer was not welcomed by the market. "We like the company fundamentally... especially now that Unilever has made clear they do not intend to increase their offer for GSK, which opens the option to walk away from the deal with grace," the Dutch bank adds.

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UK Economic Growth Slows in January as Omicron Weighs on Consumer-Facing Services

0954 GMT - The rise in Covid-19 cases held back the U.K. economy at the start of the year, with hospitality, leisure and travel sectors struggling due to restrictions, data from a purchasing managers survey shows. The IHS Markit flash composite PMI stood at 53.4 in January, down slightly from 53.6 the previous month and the lowest level in 11 months. Activity growth among manufacturers outperformed that of service providers as a sustained turnaround in materials availability led to the fastest rise in production for five months, the report says. "Looking ahead, while the Omicron wave meant the hospitality sector has sunk into a third steep downturn, these restrictions are now easing, meaning this downturn should be brief," IHS Markit's chief business economist Chris Williamson says.

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Antofagasta 2022 Earnings to Take Hit From Higher Costs

0946 GMT - Copper producer Antofagasta last week forecast unit costs for 2022 that were higher than expected by the market, reflecing high sulphuric acid prices and lower production at its flagship mines in Chile, says Tyler Broda, analyst at RBC Capital Markets. As a result, the Canadian bank cuts its adjusted Ebitda estimate for this year by 12% to $3.75 billion and adjusted earnings per share by 19% to $1.09. This would be down from RBC's forecasts for 2021 of $4.87 billion and $1.51, respectively. Broda says that investors seem resilient in their desire for copper exposure, but warns that Antofagasta is fairly valued and that it will be difficult for its shares to outperform in the absence of a markedly high copper price.

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Centamin's Performance Should Start to Improve This Year

0931 GMT - 2022 is set to be another challenging year for gold miner Centamin from a cash-flow perspective, but over the next 12 months, production and costs should start to move in the right direction, Tyler Broda from RBC Capital Markets says. There are a lot of catalysts this year, including updates on exploration, a pre-feasibility study for the Doropo project in Ivory Coast and a potential change in the company's capital structure, he notes. Centamin shares continue to be attractive, considering the upside potential of its flagship Sukari gold mine in Egypt, and the unpriced optionality associated with its other exploration projects, Broda says, reaffirming an outperform rating on the stock.

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Diageo Portfolio Looks Healthy, Costs Savings to Drive Further Growth

0924 GMT - Diageo's portfolio is healthy and costs savings will help to drive further value, Jefferies says. The share momentum of the liquor maker--which owns Johnnie Walker whisky and Tanqueray gin--is a result of higher marketing investments and improved execution, but also backed by the ambition to boost the share of total beverage alcohol in 2020-2030 to 6% from 4%, Jefferies says. "The share of throat opportunity provides a tailwind on top of traditional category drivers such as demographics, middle-class growth, and 'premiumisation'," the bank says. Jefferies has a buy rating on the stock and a target price of 4,800 pence. Shares are down 0.8% at 3,724.0 pence.

 

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

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 24, 2022 11:59 ET (16:59 GMT)

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