FTSE 100 Live Thursday
FTSE 100 ends the day higher, and hotel firms in demand
17:55 , Joanna Bourke
The FTSE 100 closed up 24.05 points, or 0.33%, at 7310.37 on Thursday, with leisure-focused firms among those in demand.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said London’s blue chip index was “helped by some decent performances from the likes of Holiday Inn owner IHG and Premier Inn owner Whitbread, both of whom were on the receiving end of a broker upgrade on optimism over a rebound in demand in 2022”.
Shares in IHG improved more than 2.5% and Whitbread rose 84p to 3108p.
On the UK-focused FTSE 250, risers included pub firm Mitchells & Butlers. The shares rose 8.4p to 244.4p after the business behind the All Bar One chain reported like for like sales growth in recent trading.
Vivo Energy saw the biggest gains with the shares 18.49% higher, or 20.6p, at 132p.
That came after it backed a £1.7 billion takeover. Energy trader Vitol got the board's backing for a takeover at a 25% premium.
That is all from the Evening Standard City desk today. We will be back tomorrow.
13:55 , Simon Freeman
Cybersecurity outfit BrandShield - which scans the internet in search of copycat websites and brand abuse - has identifed Nike, PlayStation and Apple as the most targeted.
The scammers register domains for big name brands incorporating everyday spelling mistakes to trick unsuspecting shoppers into handing over their credit card details.
BrandShield said it is seeing record activity this year.
Skillcast plans to float on London’s junior AIM market
12:46 , Joanna Bourke
The London-headquartered company is looking to start trading on AIM on December 1. It has raised £3.5 million conditional on admission, and is expected to be valued at £33.1 million.
Skillcast, which employs 80 people, provides software and e-learning courses which keep workers up to date with compliance around various laws and regulations relevant to a particular business.
Read more HERE.
Metals miner Hochschild bounces back
12:28 , Simon Freeman
Mining group Hochshild’s shares today rebounded by more than 25% after Peru’s government reversed a ruling to shut down two of its biggest silver mines.
The U-turn was welcomed by the FTSE 250-listed group’s CEO Ignacio Bustamante, who branded a move to accelerate the closure of its Inmaculada and Pallancata operations in the Andean region of Ayacucho “illegal”.
The announcement by Peru’s newly-installed prime minister Mirtha Vasquez wiped almost £500 million from Hoschshild’s market value within minutes of trading opening in London on Monday.
Clipper Logistics and Farfetch enter into new joint venture
12:12 , Joanna Bourke
Clipper Logistics has teamed up with fashion retailer Farfetch to launch a luxury goods specialist delivery and returns business with big growth potential, as well-heeled shoppers increasingly buy online.
The joint venture is expected to launch early next year.
Clipper already works in the UK and Holland with Farfetch, which sells products on its site on behalf of brands such as Jimmy Choo and Prada.
But the new partnership will also provide services to retailers that are not sold via Farfetch, or firms on the website but that currently do their own warehousing.
Read more HERE.
Remy Cointreau brings market cheer
10:43 , Graeme Evans
Africa's Vivo Energy, which joined the London stock market amid much fanfare in 2018, today moved towards the exit after backing a £1.7 billion takeover.
The FTSE 250-listed business, which sells Shell-branded fuels and lubricants at more than 2,400 filling stations, was initially valued at £2 billion following the UK's largest flotation of an African company for a decade.
The 2018 listing made Vivo the first debutant from the London Stock Exchange's Companies to Inspire Africa report, highlighting the City's potential as a funding partner to African issuers.
Today it emerged that Vivo's stock market stay is already coming to an end after energy trader Vitol got the board's backing for a takeover at a 25% premium.
Vitol, which is the company's biggest shareholder having set up Vivo with Shell and private equity partner Helios in 2011, made its first takeover approach in February.
AJ Bell's investment director Russ Mould said: “The Vivo story, running the distribution and marketing of Shell and Engen petroleum products across Africa, just never really gained traction.”
Vivo's shares rose 21.4p to 132.8p in a session when the FTSE 250 index climbed 68.32 points to 23,235.04.
The FTSE 100 index stood 12.77 points higher at 7298.79 as European markets made progress despite ongoing worries over the economic impact of further Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Traders raised a toast to Remy Cointreau after it raised its financial guidance on the back of strong cognac sales in China and the US, sending its shares 10% higher in Paris.
The better-than-expected update triggered buying of shares of London-listed Diageo, with the Guinness and Smirnoff maker trading 25p higher at 3,900p.
In a session when volumes were light due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, there were gains of more than 1% for Tesla and Alibaba backer Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and the cyber security firm Darktrace.
Vodafone was the biggest faller in the top flight, declining 4% as its shares began trading without the right to the interim dividend announced two weeks ago.
Wendy’s plans UK expansion
09:17 , Graeme Evans
US burger chain Wendy's wants to open another 50 UK sites following the success of its recent return to this country.
The fast-food chain also has eyes on moving into France, Germany and Spain.
Having left the UK in 1999, Wendy's returned recently with restaurants in Reading, Stratford, Oxford, Croydon and Romford. It also opened five dark kitchens to offer deliveries on food platforms including Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
Abigail Pringle, Wendy’s chief development officer, said sales have proven so popular the company intends to expand further.
She said: “We have seen incredible success that outperformed our expectations, and it’s clear to us that customers are loving our fresh, high-quality food.”
New locations planned for 2022 include Brighton, the Midlands and discussions are ongoing with franchise partners in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Hochschild Mining rebounds, Vodafone lower
09:02 , Graeme Evans
Markets in Europe are struggling for momentum as investors worry about the potential for renewed Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Germany's consumer sentiment index highlighted these concerns after the latest reading fell by more than expected to its lowest level since June.
The FTSE 100 index was broadly unchanged at 7,290, with trading volumes lighter than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
Vodafone was the biggest faller in the top flight, declining 3% after its shares began trading without the right to the interim dividend announced two weeks ago.
There was more for investors to see in the FTSE 250 index, where Hochschild Mining rebounded 20% after Peru's government clarified its position on potential mine closures. Africa's Vivo Energy also rose by more than a fifth after backing a takeover offer.
Vivo Energy backs £1.7bn takeover
08:23 , Graeme Evans
FTSE 250-listed Vivo Energy, which sells Shell and Engen branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, is set to be taken over after backing a deal worth $2.3 billion (£1.7 billion).
Energy trader Vitol owns 36% of Vivo and has secured support from fellow founding shareholder, the private equity firm Helios, for the proposal worth a 25% premium to last night's price.
Vitol, which made its first takeover approach in February, set up Vivo Energy with Shell and Helios in 2011. Since then, the business has grown its network of service stations to more than 2,400 and also exports lubricants to a number of African countries.
It generated revenues of $8.3 billion (£6.2 billion) and profits of $246 million (£184 million) in the year before the pandemic.
Vitol's operations include more than 480,000 barrels a day of refining capacity, while it also owns or markets to approximately 6,500 retail service stations.
Chris Bake, its head of origination, said: "Since we founded Vivo with Helios and Shell, we have believed in the business' potential and we are excited to have it within the Vitol family, as a pillar of our strategy in Africa.”
Fed minutes reveal inflation anxiety
07:44 , Graeme Evans
The FTSE 100 index is forecast to open 15 points higher at 7301, having closed up yesterday for the third session in a row.
The performance was helped by resilience in the energy sector after oil prices traded near to one-week highs, while defensive telecom and utilities were in demand amid fears over the economic impact of potential further lockown measures in Europe.
Cyclical plays such as leisure and automotive stocks continued their recent decline.
Wall Street finished on the front foot last night before traders headed off for the Thanksgiving holiday. The tech-laden Nasdaq, which was under pressure earlier this week due to fears of higher US interest rates, finished 0.4% stronger.
Last night's minutes from the US Federal Reserve showed that policymakers appear increasingly anxious about rising prices and their effect on the US economy, with some aruging for a faster taper than the $15 billion a month agreed earlier two week ago.
Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Market, said: “Over the last two meetings there seems to be much less confidence that what we are seeing is transitory in nature.”
The US dollar rallied overnight to leave the pound at $1.33 versus the greenback.
Brent crude, meanwhile, continues to trade above $82 a barrel after an initiative by major oil consuming nations to release some of their strategic reserves failed to put downward pressure on prices.