The FTSE 100 closed 0.1% lower as the UK’s new budget plan foresees austerity ahead

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.1% as UK Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt’s new budget plan predicted two difficult years for the economy. “These measures will increase pressure on struggling consumers and deepen the UK’s recession, the first among major economies,” eToro analyst Ben Laidler said in a note. Ocado was the biggest loser in the session, down 8.6%, followed by Harbor Energy, down 5.9%, and Hargreaves Lansdown, down 4.8%. Centrica was the biggest gainer, up 5.4%, followed by Lloyds Banking and Imperial Brands, up 3% and 2.7% respectively.

Companies News: 

Halma’s first-half pretax profit fell after prior year divestment gain

Halma PLC said on Thursday that pre-tax profit for the first half of fiscal 2023 fell after the comparable period a year earlier was boosted by a gain on a disposal.

International Delivery Services moved to 1H pre-tax loss on Royal Mail losses

International Distribution Services PLC said on Thursday it turned to a pre-tax loss in the first half and revenue fell as strong performance at its GLS division was offset by losses at Royal Mail.

Burberry Group’s first-half pre-tax profit increased on lower costs; Backs FY 2024 Views

Burberry Group PLC said on Thursday it expects to meet near-term targets despite the challenging environment and that pre-tax profit for the first half of fiscal 2023 rose amid lower costs.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering backs 2022 guidance after underlying demand growth

Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC on Thursday supported its full-year forecast for adjusted operating profit as underlying demand growth remained strong in the four months to late October despite weakening global industrial production growth forecast.

Investec’s H1 pre-tax profit rose on higher interest rates and begins £350m buyout

Investec PLC on Thursday announced an increase in pre-tax profit for the first half of the financial year 2023, supported in part by rising global interest rates, and declared a 350 million pound share buyback program ( $417 million).

Intermediate Capital Names William Rucker Chairman; Decline in pre-tax profit over 1H

Intermediate Capital Group PLC said on Thursday that William Rucker had been appointed non-executive director and chairman, and he reported lower pre-tax profit for the first half of the 2023 financial year as revenue fell.

Finsbury Food four-month sales up 16%, boosted by higher volumes and prices

Finsbury Food Group PLC said on Thursday that sales in the first four months of the new financial year rose 16%, boosted by higher volumes and prices, but it expects macroeconomic and inflation headwinds from costs continue throughout the year.

International delivery services moved to 1H pre-tax loss on Royal Mail losses – Update

International Distribution Services PLC said on Thursday it turned to a pre-tax loss in the first half and revenue fell as strong performance at its GLS division was offset by losses at Royal Mail.

Close Brothers Says First Quarter Performance Was Strong Despite Market Uncertainties

Close Brothers Group PLC said on Thursday its first-quarter performance was strong, with a strong margin in the banking division and increased net inflows in asset management despite market uncertainty.

Fall in pre-tax profit of the Mitie group in the first half; Increases interim dividend

Mitie Group PLC said Thursday that pre-tax profit for the first half of fiscal 2023 fell after booking fewer coronavirus-related contracts and declaring an increased interim dividend.

Crest Nicholson Sees FY2022 Earnings Meeting Forecast; Recent downturn in sales

Crest Nicholson Holdings PLC said on Thursday it expects adjusted pre-tax profit for the 2022 financial year to meet previous guidance of 135-140 million pounds ($160.9-166.8 million), although sales have slowed in recent weeks.

Begbies Traynor Group sees revenue and profit rise in first half

Begbies Traynor Group PLC said on Thursday it expected to report increased revenue and adjusted pre-tax profit for the first half of financial year 2023 and backed its full-year expectations.

Kier Group says new fiscal year started well, in line with expectations

Kier Group PLC said on Thursday that the new financial year had started well and that its performance was in line with the board’s expectations.

Fuller Smith & Turner’s first-half pretax profit increased as part of recovery from pandemic restrictions

Fuller Smith & Turner PLC said on Thursday that profits and pre-tax income for the first half of the 2023 financial year rose on the back of a recovery from the effect of coronavirus restrictions.

Market Talk: 

Sterling may be little moved by UK budget statement

11:10 GMT – The UK government’s autumn statement on Thursday should provide more clarity on the closing of the fiscal gap, but a muted reaction from sterling is likely, according to Danske Bank. “While domestic political themes have been a key driver for the GBP in recent months, we increasingly expect domestic politics to take a back seat going forward,” said analyst Jesper Fjarstedt. Danske Bank, in a note. It’s the result of new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s focus on fiscal prudence after September’s tax cut mini-budget under Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, sparked turmoil on the market, he said. GBP/USD drops 0.5% to 1.1860 but EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8727. The budget is expected at 11:30 GMT. (

Total gilt issuance in financial year 2023/24 expected to reach £200bn, ING forecasts

11:16 GMT – The gilt market is set to absorb a record amount of gilt, around £200bn, in the 2023/24 financial year as the Bank of England’s gilt sales program will add £80bn sterling of gilts per year in the market, according to ING analysts in a note. “Private investors will be required to increase their holdings of gilts by a record amount in fiscal year 2023/24,” the analysts said. Total gilt issuance in the 2022/23 financial year is estimated at £120bn according to ING. (

The first half of International Distribution Services brings only disappointment

1104 GMT – International Distribution Services reported a first-half loss on weak UK operations as post-pandemic market normalization of parcel volumes derails the group, AJ Bell said. The postal and courier service is still failing to deliver on its promise to become more efficient and is talking of splitting into two if Royal Mail is not fixed soon, AJ Bell chief investment officer Russ Mold said in a comment Steps. “That seems more likely over time, but one has to wonder which investors would be happy to own shares in the UK company,” Mr Mold said. “It’s broken, battered and bruised with an uncooperative workforce and much of its business in steady decline.” The shares are down 0.8% at 237.8 pence. (

Great Portland Estates’ new direction is welcome but faces challenges

10:35 GMT – Great Portland Estates management appears more confident than ever in its new direction for its first-half results, as the development pipeline progresses and shortages of Class A office space intensify, says RBC Capital Markets in a note. According to RBC analysts, the real estate investment trust’s significant shift in focus towards providing flexible office space indicates attractive supply and demand dynamics in this part of the London office market and, in as such, has strong logic. “However, it also highlights the challenges in the more traditional London office markets, which still represent the majority of GPE’s business, even before any recession in our view,” the Canadian bank said. RBC retains its underperforming rating on the stock and the price target of 470 pence. The shares are down 3.3% at 525.0 pence. (

The Pound Could Recover as Fiscal Policy Tightens and Risk Appetite Improves

1027 GMT – The tide could be turning for the pound after a few volatile months and a year of underperformance, according to HSBC. “The government’s significant U-turn on fiscal spending will limit concerns over fiscal vulnerability, as there are early signs that the external accounts are beginning to rebalance, albeit slowly,” HSBC analysts said in a note. A rebound in global sentiment should also support the pound given its strong link to risk appetite in recent years, they say. The UK’s economic challenges are well priced into sterling and the Bank of England’s relative caution in raising interest rates could even support the currency, they say. HSBC expects GBP/USD to rise to 1.25 by Q4 2023 from 1.1880 currently. (

Grainger shows resilience in the face of a broader economic downturn

10:20 GMT – Grainger delivered a strong set of results for fiscal 2022, sticking to its private rental portfolio and benefiting from strong rent growth, correlated with wage inflation, Citi said in a note. The real estate investment firm noted strong demand, limited supply as small landlords are squeezed out and a resilient customer base, and it expects rising mortgage costs to boost rental demand, analysts said. by Citi Aakanksha Anand and Aaron Guy. “While an aggressive rate hike has, in our view, put real estate on a general downward trajectory, we expect [the private rented sector] be relatively resilient to our broader business coverage,” the U.S. bank said. Citi retains its buy rating and price target of 369 pence on Grainger shares. The shares are up 1.1% at 239.4 pence. (

New Ergomed appointments will support future growth

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November 17, 2022 12:48 p.m. ET (5:48 p.m. GMT)

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