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FTSE tumbles further as market selloff worsens

By BFN News | 04:46 PM | Thursday 27 February, 2020


The FTSE 100 fell even further on Thursday as the market selloff worsened following fears over the spread of the coronavirus. A number of the UK's top 100 companies reported results, but very few in the index saw an uplift in their share price. The benchmark index closed 3.49% lower to 6,796.40. It comes as other stock markets across the world also suffered heavy losses. In the US, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both fell by over 2.5%, while the Dow Jones was down 3.3%. LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Already hit by the woes affecting the travel sector, British airways owner International Consolidated Airlines plunged 7.9% to 515p after climate campaigners won a court case blocking a third runway Heathrow Airport. Strong innovation and digital performance pushed Rentokil's revenue growth up 10.8% in 2019, according to its full year results. Ongoing revenue at the pest control firm were up 8.6%, while organic revenue grew 4.5% during the 12 months to December 31, 2019. The company's share price rose 0.5% to 497p. Advertising giant WPP reported a fall in like for like sales of 1%. Revenue for the year to December 31, 2019, was up 1.4% to £13.23bn, but the firm's headline profit before interest and tax was down 5.8% to £1.62bn. Mark Read, chief executive officer at WPP, said the company has met its guidance for 2019, with the year forming the foundation for the new WPP strategy. Its shares were down 16.2% at 761p. Total full year net revenue for Reckitt Benckiser reached £12,846m in 2019, with growth of 0.8% on a like for like basis. Its share price fell 4% to £58.57 as a result. RSA Insurance Group saw an increase in its total underwriting profit of £229m in 2019, according to its preliminary results. The group's underlying earnings per share reached 44.5p, while return of tangible equity stood at 16% for the period. RSA's share price edged 0.5% higher to 535p. Elsewhere, luxury carmaker Aston Martin said it expected earnings to be second-half weighted amid a proposal to raise £500m to 'reset' the business via deeply-discounted rights issue after reporting wider annual losses. The company also announced that Mark Wilson would step down as chief financial officer and it would continue press on with its plan to turnaround performance, with plans to raise cash via a deeply-discounted 14-to-25 rights issue. Following the announcement, the share price fell 9% to 356p. Meanwhile, British American Tobacco reported lower annual profit on volume declines and legal and restructuring charges. The tobacco giant also said performance of revenue in its 'new categories' division, which included vaping products, would be second-half weighed following a regulatory clampdown in the US. For the year ended 31 December, pre-tax profit fell to £7.9m from £8.3m and revenue increased 5.7% to £25.9bn as lower volumes held back growth. Its share price dropped 1.8% to £31.62. The chief executive of Persimmon, David Jenkinson, has confirmed he will be stepping down from his role 'in due course'.The news comes as it revealed a drop in 2019 profits. Pre-tax profits in 2019 fell 4.5% to £1.04bn and its underlying housing operating margin dropped from 30.8% in 2018 to 30.3% in 2019. Its shares dropped 6.3% to £28.83. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Lender Amigo plunged 19% to 44p as it reported a fall in profit due to higher impairments amid challenges in its collections business. For the nine-month period ended 31 December 2019, pre-tax profit fell to £53.5m from £79m on-year as revenue increased 8.5% to £218m, with the net loan book increasing 3.8% to £722.3m. Finncap warned of weaker second-half performance in its mergers and acquisitions division amid slower-than-expected deal activity, while its equity market division was expected to deliver performance in line with that recorded in the first half of the financial year. Its shares fell 2.1% to 23p. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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