FTSE 100 Edges Up in Cautious Trade Before US Jobs Data

0916 GMT - The FTSE 100 edges up 0.1% to 7006.95 as traders cautiously await key U.S. jobs data. A weaker-than-expected figure may add to speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve could soon slow or pause interest-rate rises, whereas a stronger reading would increase risks of aggressive increases. "Stocks in Asia headed lower overnight, taking their lead from a tough session in the U.S., where the bullish move of the early part of the week faded thanks to ongoing nervousness about the direction of Fed policy and the usual pre-non farm payroll nerves," IG analysts write. Property stocks fall on growing concerns about a weakening housing market outlook, with Berkeley Group down 2% and Rightmove down 1.8%, while energy stocks gain as crude oil prices rise. (jessica.fleetham@wsj.com)

Companies News: 

SolGold Agrees to Merger With Cornerstone Capital Resources; Shares Rise

Shares in SolGold PLC rose Friday after the company said it has agreed to buy the entire issued share capital of Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc. in a unanimously recommended friendly merger, valuing Cornerstone at around 96.7 million pounds ($107.9 million).


J.D. Wetherspoon Swung to Pretax Profit in FY 2022 as Pandemic Restrictions Eased

J.D. Wetherspoon PLC reported a swing to pretax profit in fiscal 2022, driven by easier comparatives after the ease of Covid-19 restrictions, and said that its outlook is cautiously optimistic.


Castings Sees Strong Demand in 1H; Expects to Meet Market Views

Castings PLC said Friday that underlying demand in the first half of fiscal 2023 remained strong, and that it is confident it will continue to meet market views.


PureTech Health in Takeover Discussions With Nektar Therapeutics

PureTech Health PLC said Friday that it is in takeover discussions with Nektar Therapeutics, speaking in response to press speculation.


Steppe Cement 3Q Revenue Rose on Higher Sales Volumes, Prices

Steppe Cement Ltd. said Friday that revenue for the third quarter rose along with the volume of cement sales and prices.


Marshalls Nine-Month Revenue Fell at Landscape Products Division

Marshalls PLC said Friday that in the nine months to Sept. 30, revenue at its landscape products division fell 6% amid tough trading conditions, but that group revenue rose as demand at its building products division remained strong.


Impax Asset Management Group FY 2022 Assets Under Management Fell

Impax Asset Management Group PLC said Friday that assets under management at the end of fiscal 2022 were lower than a year earlier, but that it recorded positive net inflows during the fourth quarter.

Market Talk: 

Reckitt Needs a New CEO as Soon as Possible, RBC Says

0924 GMT - Reckitt's Interim Chief Executive Officer Nicandro Durante knows the group well, but the company needs a permanent CEO as soon as possible, RBC analysts James Edwardes Jones and Emma Letheren say in a research note. The consumer-goods company's new leader should be an internal appointee, given that Durante's executive experience is in the tobacco industry--as CEO of British American Tobacco--a sector where volume growth, marketing, and research and development are not the norm, the analysts highlight. "We're sticking with outperform (rating), but feel some anxiety about this management uncertainty," they add. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

Castings Shares Look Cheap on Strong Demand

0922 GMT - Castings' 1H update was positive and provided reassurance that demand is strong and it is meeting full-year expectations, Canaccord Genuity says. Against a backdrop of strong customer demand, order visibility and production schedules, the iron-casting and machining group's earnings look well supported by proven pricing mechanisms and foundry volumes, Canaccord analyst James Wood says in a research note. "Given the demand outlook, normalized production schedules, ongoing cash generation and strong balance sheet support, we view the 60% discount to sector [comparisons] as unjustified," Wood says. Canaccord retains its buy rating and 530 pence price target on the stock. Shares are down 11% at 310.0 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Potential UK Housing Market Downturn Seen as Risk to Pound

0841 GMT - The potential fallout from the U.K. government's new fiscal policy on the housing market could add to sterling's woes, ING says. Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng held talks with the bosses of U.K. banks on Thursday about soaring mortgage rates, triggered by expectations that the Bank of England will have to raise interest rates more aggressively following the government's mini-budget which included sweeping tax cuts, according to media reports. "A potentially fast acceleration in the U.K. housing market correction has surely become a more relevant theme for the government, and likely another downside risk for the pound," ING analyst Francesco Pesole says in a note. GBP/USD rises 0.3% to 1.1210 and EUR/GBP drops 0.2% to 0.8754. (renae.dyer@wsj.com)

J.D. Wetherspoon Shares Seen as Cheap

0840 GMT - J.D. Wetherspoon shares are up 12% after releasing an encouraging performance update, providing a relief rally to a stock that is down 55% year to date, Goodbody analyst Patrick Higgins says in a research note. However, the British pub chain's stock price seems to be cheap compared to historic levels, with an expected price-to-earnings ratio of 8.5 for fiscal 2023, the analyst says. The Irish brokerage has a buy recommendation on the stock. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

J.D. Wetherspoon Seen Better Positioned Amid Current Backdrop

0828 GMT - J.D. Wetherspoon released an update in line with expectations and showed an encouraging start to the year, Goodbody analyst Patrick Higgins says in a research note. The British pub chain is believed to be better positioned to face the current backdrop than peers, given its long-term hedging strategy and attractive value proposition, Higgins says. "Nonetheless, it is difficult to be overly constructive on the sector at the moment as we see no clear catalyst for improvement in the near term given the hugely uncertain macro and consumer backdrop," Higgins adds. Shares rise 11%. (michael.susin@wsj.com)


Contact: London NewsPlus; paul.larkins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 07, 2022 05:43 ET (09:43 GMT)

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