Lon­don treads wa­ter as it feels Asian mar­ket ef­fect

Yorkshire Post - Business - - MARKET REPORT -

THE Lon­don mar­ket was broadly flat, de­spite a strong rally from su­per­mar­ket Mor­risons fol­low­ing a tie-up with US on­line retail gi­ant Ama­zon.

The deal for the FT SE 250 su­per­mar­ket to sup­ply gro­ceries to Ama­zon Prime and Ama­zon Pantry cus­tomers sent shares in the UK firm up 6 per cent, in a move that puts in­creas­ing pres­sure on a sec­tor that has al­ready seen prices fall for more than 18 months.

How­ever, the FTSE 100 In­dex was up just 1.08 points to 6097.09 af­ter mar­ket falls in Asia and in­con­clu­sive talks at the G20 meet­ing of fi­nance min­is­ters in Shang­hai over t he week­end. Top-flight shares, how­ever, gained ground af­ter open­ing some 60 points lower.

In Europe, Ger­many’s Dax was 0.2 per cent down, while the Cac 40 in France lifted 0.6 per cent.

Min­ers were among the big­gest ris­ers, while the price of Brent Crude jumped by more than a dol­lar to over 36 US dol­lars a bar­rel. An­glo Amer­i­can was up 29.7p to 480.3p, with Glen­core ris­ing 5p at 133.3p.

The pound lifted a cent against the euro at 1.28, af­ter in­fla­tion in the eu­ro­zone re­gion fell back to mi­nus 0.2 per cent in Fe­bru­ary from 0.3 per cent last month.

Brexit fears had pushed ster­ling to seven-year lows last week. The pound was also a cent higher against the US dol­lar at just over 1.39.

In stocks, Mor­risons was up 11.1p to 199p as the gro­cer’ s chief ex­ec­u­tive David Potts said the com­bi­na­tion of his firm’s “fresh food ex­per­tise and Ama­zon’s on­line and lo­gis­tics capa- bil­i­ties is com­pelling”. The UK’s big­gest su­per­mar­ket Tesco saw shares fall more than 2 per cent, or 3.8p, to 179.9p in re­sponse to the an­nounce­ment that could shake up the in­dus­try.

FTSE 250 on­line gro­cer Ocado tum­bled al­most 8 per cent, or 22p to 260p, af­ter its 25- year agree­ment with Mor­risons be­came clouded as a re­sult of the Brad­ford-based re­tailer’ s new deal with Ama­zon. Asia-fo­cused bank Stan­dard

Char­tered 1/ 2p to 4301/ 2p, slipped on mount­ing spec­u­la­tion that China may de­value its cur­rency fur­ther in or­der to kick­start its econ­omy.

Else­where, Daily Mir­ror pub­lisher Trin­ity Mir­ror saw its share

2p to 157.3p af­ter price rise 41/ post­ing a bet­ter- than- ex­pected prof­its fall.

The group said pre- tax prof­its fell 18 per cent to £ 67.2m, amid print cir­cu­la­tion and ad­ver­tis­ing de­clines in com­mon with much of there st of the news­pa­per in­dus­try. The pub­lisher - which also launched new daily news­pa­per the New Day - con­firmed it had set aside £29 mt ode al with fines re­lated to the phone hack­ing court cases it faces.

In­sur­ance gi­ant His­cox said it was boosted by fewer global catas­tro­phes de­spite see­ing prof­its fall. The Lon­don- listed firm re­ported a 6.5 per cent dip in an­nual pre-tax prof­its to £216.1 m, as it was hit by shrink­ing in­vest­ment re­turns. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Bronek Ma­so­jada said “Our strat­egy con­tin­ues to de­liver good growth with our retail busi­nesses con­tribut­ing 50 per­cent of in­come .” Shares slipped 88p to 973p.

Out sourcer Bunzl bol­stered prof­its in the face of “chal­leng­ing” eco­nomic con­di­tions and a weaker per­for­mance in Brazil. The firm saw an­nual pre-tax prof­its lift to £ 322.7m, fu­elled partly by ac­qui­si­tions. Shares fell 2p to 1933p.

The big­gest ris­ers in the FTSE 100

In­dex were An­glo Amer­i­can up 29.7p to 480.3p, Intu Prop­er­ties up 12p to 300.2p, Burberry Group up 51p to 1320p and Glen

core 5p up at 133.3p. The big­gest faller in the FTSE 100 In­dex was Lon­don Stock

Ex­change down 139p at 2678p.

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