The FTSE 100 closed down 0.01% as stronger-than-expected jobs data in the U.S. increased the possibility of more high rate rises by the Federal Reserve. "It appears that the Fed can push on yet further, putting another 75 bps rise in play for September," IG analyst Chris Beauchamp says in a note. WPP was the day's biggest faller, closing down 8.8%, followed by Ocado and Dechra Pharmaceuticals, down 6.3% and 5.4% respectively. Hargreaves Lansdown was the session's biggest riser despite a fall in AuM for FY 2022, closing up 5%, followed by Antofagasta, up 3.6% and Airtel Africa, up 2.6%.

 
Companies News: 

Amur Minerals Shares Rise on Proposed Disposal of Russian Project

Amur Minerals Corp. shares rose significantly on Friday after the company proposed the disposal of the Kun-Manie nickel-copper project in Russia for $35 million to Bering Metals LLC, and said it will pay shareholders a special dividend.

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WPP 1H Pretax Profit Rose; Lifts 2022 Organic Growth Guidance

WPP PLC said Friday that first-half pretax profit rose on broad growth and that it has raised its organic growth guidance for the full year.

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Light Science Shares Fall on Wider 1H Pretax Loss

Light Science Technologies Holdings PLC shares fell Friday after it said that its first-half pretax loss for fiscal 2022 widened on continued investment and marketing.

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Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Swung to 1H Pretax Loss on Negative Market Movements

Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd. on Friday reported a swing to pretax loss for the first half of the year on falls in equity and bond markets.

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Trident Royalties 2Q Receipts Jumped on Gold, Copper, and Iron Ore Exposure

Trident Royalties PLC said Friday that second-quarter royalty receipts jumped significantly due to gold, copper, and iron ore exposure.

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Kromek Group Raises GBP1.7 Mln To Minimize Potential Supply Chain Disruptions

Kromek Group PLC shares rose on Friday after the company said that it has completed a 1.7 million pounds ($2.1 million) fundraising via an issue of convertible loan notes.

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Deepverge 1H Revenue Rose; Expects to Miss 2022 Market Views

Deepverge PLC said Friday that its first-half revenue nearly doubled, but it expects full-year revenue to miss market expectations, and forecasts lower earnings.

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Inspired Energy Sees 1H in Line With Views as ESG Business Gains Traction

Inspired Energy PLC said Friday that it expects to report a performance for the first half of 2022 in line with the board's expectations, driven by a robust performance and improved cash generation.

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Oracle Power Raises GBP500,000 Via Discounted Share Placing

Oracle Power PLC said Friday that it has raised 500,000 pounds ($607,950) via a discounted share placing to continue working in the company's green-hydrogen project.

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Carr's Group Appoints Peter Page as CEO; CFO Neil Austin to Step Down

Carr's Group PLC said Friday that it has appointed Peter Page as chief executive and that Chief Financial Officer Neil Austin has decided to step down in January.

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Carr's Group 22-Week Trading in Line

Carr's Group PLC said Friday that trading in the 22-week period ended July 30 has been in line with the board's expectations.

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Impala Platinum Expects Fall in FY 2022 Basic Earnings After Prior Year Boosted by One-Offs

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. said Friday that basic earnings for fiscal 2022 are expected to decrease between 29% and 35% to between 30.5 billion South African rand and 33.5 billion South African rand ($1.84 billion-$2.02 billion) after the prior-year period benefited from one-offs.

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Pendragon Says GBP405.1M Takeover Plan Has Been Dropped

Pendragon PLC said Friday that it had received a 405.1 million pound ($492.6 million) takeover proposal from an unnamed large international corporate, but that this has now been withdrawn.

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Pets at Home's 1Q Revenue Rose on Continued Customer Growth

Pets at Home Group PLC said Friday that its performance for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 was strong, marked by revenue growth amid a rising number of customers and levels of retention.

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Hargreaves Lansdown FY 2022 Assets Under Administration Fell Amid Lower Activity

Hargreaves Lansdown PLC on Friday reported a fall in assets under administration for fiscal 2022 as investors' confidence slumped, but raised its views for fiscal 2023.

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Capita 1H Adj. Pretax Profit Rose on Cost Efficiencies, End of Major Spend

Capita PLC said Friday that its first-half pretax profit and revenue both rose on an adjusted basis and slipped on a reported basis, and that it was on track to accelerate revenue growth in the second half.

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London Stock Exchange Group 1H Pretax Profit Rose, Sets Out GBP750 Mln Buyback

London Stock Exchange Group PLC reported on Friday a significant rise in pretax profit for the first half of 2022 and said it is launching a share buyback program with an aggregate value of up to 750 million pounds ($911.9 million).

 
Market Talk: 

BOE Gilt Sales to Be Slower Than Expected, May Continue Even if Rates Fall

1419 GMT - The Bank of England on Thursday said it was "provisionally" minded to start gilt sales under quantitative tightening at GBP10 billion per quarter, which Capital Economics says is slower than the GBP15 billion per quarter it had expected. Capital Economics had also assumed active gilt sales would cease once the BOE started to cut rates, but the central bank said Thursday that sales would probably continue regardless of whether it was raising or cutting rates, senior U.K. economist Ruth Gregory says in a note. The economic research group now thinks "risks are skewed towards interest rates being cut sooner," she says. (jessica.fleetham@wsj.com)

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Aviva's Strategic Plan, Cash Returns in Focus

1301 GMT - Aviva's strategic plan is in focus ahead of the insurer's first-half earnings report amid pressure from activist investors for it to cut costs and increase cash returns, AJ Bell's Russ Mould and Danni Hewson say in a research note. An update is expected on the plan to cut GBP400 million of costs by 2023, with activist investor Cevian Capital calling for a GBP500 million cut, the U.K. brokerage says. Investors will also be looking for news of extra cash returns as well as an update on the purchase of the U.K. wealth manager Succession Wealth, AJ Bell say. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

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Capita's 1H Results Were Reassuringly In-Line With Expectations

1227 GMT - Capita's first-half results didn't have any big surprises--which is good given its major restructuring--and further positive news should be expected on disposals over the next six months, RBC Capital Markets says. The U.K. outsourcing business is confident in delivering revenue and profit growth for 2022, and remains on track to deliver positive free cash flow for the year, RBC analyst Andrew Brooke says in a research note. "We continue to see upside on a [sum-of-the-parts basis] but clearly not without risks," he says. RBC retains its outperform rating on the stock and 42.0 pence price target. Shares are down 6.7% at 27.38 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

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Canadian Overseas' Discovery Confirmation Could Justify New Well Investment

1154 GMT - Canadian Overseas Petroleum's independent report unveiled today confirming an oil discovery at its Wyoming asset is encouraging, while it stops short of the board's expectations in some aspects, Alternative Resources Capital analyst Dragan Trajkov says in a research note. The report shows what the final outcome could be and fully justifies further investment on a horizontal well to evaluate the discovery's potential, he adds. However, the report classifies one of the reserves as a prospective resource--rather than a discovery--differing from the views of the oil-and-gas company. "We expect the market to wait for these results before assigning a meaningful value to this potential," Trajkov adds. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

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European Stocks Fall as Traders Eye US Jobs Data

1033 GMT - European stocks fall as investors weigh corporate earnings and look ahead to the key U.S. nonfarm payrolls report later Friday. The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.3%, the FTSE 100 declines 0.2%, the DAX sheds 0.2% and the CAC 40 slips 0.6%. Advertising giant WPP and defense company Rheinmetall fall 7.3% and 6.6%, respectively, after posting their first-half results. Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown rises 5.6% after its full-year earnings and logistics firm Deutsche Post rises 4.8% after its second-quarter results. July's payrolls data are due at 1230 GMT. "Our US economists expect a 250k print, down from 372k in June but enough to tip the unemployment rate lower to 3.5% from 3.6%," Deutsche Bank analysts say in a note. (renae.dyer@wsj.com)

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WPP's 1H Looks Solid But Investors Seem Worried by Economic Backdrop

1003 GMT - WPP's first-half numbers look fairly solid, but investors are concerned about the economic backdrop and what it says about the company's prospects, hence the negative share reaction, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a note. "Clearly there is a belief that WPP's recent momentum, which helped it lift its annual sales outlook, can't last in the long-term," Mould says. A big retrenchment in spending by clients feels likely to come at some point, he says. Shares trade down 7.4% at 826.60 pence. (kyle.morris@dowjones.com)

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Inspired Looks Set for Growth Thanks to ESG Focus Boost

0850 GMT - Inspired started a track of solid growth through 2021 as it built up its operations in energy-optimization services and by launching ESG services, Shore Capital analyst Robin Speakman says in a research note. "We model organic investment flowing into these operations to drive [growth]," the analyst says. Despite the challenging market conditions and macroeconomic backdrop, the energy consultancy could benefit not only from economic growth drivers, but from regulatory tailwinds, he notes. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

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Sterling Seen Extending Losses After BOE Decision

0824 GMT - Sterling should weaken further against the dollar as the Bank of England's latest policy decision has encouraged markets to price in more interest rate cuts for next year and beyond, MUFG Bank says. The BOE on Thursday lifted its key rate 50 basis points to 1.75% but it forecast a recession from the fourth quarter and expects inflation to undershoot its target by a larger amount in three years' time, MUFG currency analyst Lee Hardman says in a note. "It sends a strong dovish signal that lower rates will be needed once upside inflation risks have passed in the near-term." MUFG expects GBP/USD to fall to 1.1790 by the end of the third quarter. GBP/USD drops 0.1% to 1.2148. (renae.dyer@wsj.com)

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Hargreaves Lansdown's FY 2023 Revenue Could Be at Top End of Guidance

0810 GMT - Hargreaves Lansdown reported a better-than-expected FY 2022 performance while its revenue margin for FY 2023 is likely to be at the top end of its new guidance, Shore Capital analyst Ben Williams says in a research note as the company's shares rise 3.2%. Besides higher revenue, the retail-investment platform also expects lower costs backed on technology investments, Williams says. The investor focus, however, is likely to remain on the FY 2026 targeted existing business net inflows of GBP10 million, GBP5 billion into active savings and GBP5 billion into the forthcoming augmented advice, he says. Shore has a hold recommendation on the stock. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

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WPP Share Price Looks Modest for Company With Strong Prospects

0801 GMT - WPP's current share price looks extremely modest for a well-managed, market-leading, global company that offers the prospect of strong medium-term growth and cash generation, Shore Capital's Roddy Davidson says in a research note. The London-based advertising group's shares look to have suffered disproportionately from worries over advertising spending, he says. "More broadly, we believe that WPP is extremely well placed to drive growth by harnessing its deep digital skill set, extensive resources, and comprehensive global offering to add substantial value to its blue-chip client base and to capitalize on a positive medium-term advertising spend backdrop," Davidson says. Shore Capital has a buy rating on the stock. (kyle.morris@dowjones.com)

 

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 05, 2022 12:38 ET (16:38 GMT)

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