The FTSE 100 closed Wednesday down 1.48% as diminishing hopes of a U.K. rate cut combined with a rising U.S. dollar hit the index hard. The FTSE's new year has gone from bad to worse following this morning's inflation data, and hopes of an early Bank of England rate cut have receded dramatically, leaving the index high and dry, IG Group chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp says in a research note. While the inflation news has hit domestic stocks hard, international firms like those in the mining sector have taken a knock from the stronger dollar driving commodity prices lower, Beauchamp says. "This double-whammy spells trouble for the index, and a return to the October lows is a distinct possibility," Beauchamp says.


BP Confirms Murray Auchincloss as New CEO

BP has formally appointed Murray Auchincloss as its new chief executive officer with immediate effect following ex-CEO Bernard Looney's sudden exit in September, the British oil-and-gas major said Wednesday.


Pearson Sees Underlying Sales Increase in Line With Expectations

Person said that underlying sales for 2023 rose 5%, in line with the board's upgraded expectations, and that it is well positioned for 2024 and beyond.


Mulberry Sales Drop on Weaker Luxury Goods Consumer Demand

U.K. luxury brand Mulberry said sales at the end of last year fell, hurt by weaker consumer spending.


Liontrust's 3Q Assets Under Management and Advice Edged Up

Liontrust Asset Management's assets under management and advice edged up over the third quarter of fiscal 2024 as market movements turned positive and offset continued outflows.


Hornby Sales Boosted by Strong Black Friday Performance

Hornby PLC said that sales for the third quarter of the fiscal year rose 5% as it benefited from strong Black Friday activity and that it's on track for on-year growth.


Rathbones Funds Under Management and Administration Rise

Rathbones Group said that its total funds under management and administration rose over the fourth quarter of 2023 on positive market movements.


Mitchells & Butlers Sees Performance at Top End of Views After Record Christmas

Mitchells & Butlers said that it expects full-year performance to be toward the top end of market expectations on the back of robust sales and easing costs pressures on consumer budget.


Galliford Try Lifts Revenue, Profit Outlook After Strong Performance

Galliford Try raised full fiscal-year expectations after performing better than it had expected in the first half.


888 Holdings to Meet Guidance; Sees 2024 Adjusted Earnings at Bottom End of Range

888 Holdings said that it expects adjusted earnings for 2024 to be at the lower end of market forecasts as it reported a fall in fourth-quarter revenue as a result of extra safety gambling measures.


Brooks Macdonald Sees In-Line Profit as Funds Under Management Rise

Brooks Macdonald Group said it expects momentum on gross inflows to continue across its products over the second half of fiscal 2024 as it posted a rise in funds under management for the second quarter.


Keller Sees Operating Profit Ahead of Market Views on Robust U.S. Performance

Keller said that it expects 2023 operating profit to beat market expectations on the continued robust performance across the year.


FirstGroup Agrees GBP150 Mln Loan to Purchase Electric Bus Bodies

FirstGroup said it has agreed a new financing facility for 150 million pounds ($189.6 million) for the acquisition of up to 1,000 electric bus bodies.


Diploma Starts Year Strongly; Backs Guidance

Diploma said that it had a strong performance over the first quarter of the new fiscal year as the momentum from the prior year continued, and backed its full-year guidance.


Grafton Group Names Ian Tyler Next Chairman, Michael Roney to Step Down

Grafton Group has appointed Ian Tyler as its next chairman, replacing Michael Roney effective from the annual general meeting on May 2.


U.K.'s Labour Party Will Only Invest in Growth After Cutting Debt

1244 GMT - The U.K.'s Labour party will only invest in improving growth and productivity after wrestling control over debt, government opposition finance chief Rachel Reeves says in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Labour would inherit a difficult economy from the incumbent Conservatives if it wins the next general election--expected in the second half of this year--but it plans a tough set of fiscal rules for day-to-day spending, through tax receipts to reduce debt, Reeves told CNBC. One option ruled out was an increase in top-rate tax of 50%. "I'm here in Davos to say that Britain is open to business. We want businesses to thrive and be successful to reinvest their profits here in Britain, and we have no plans to increase income tax," Reeves says. (


Haleon Investors Should Be Aware of GSK, Pfizer Selling Shares

1200 GMT - GSK's sale of its shares in Haleon has reduced its stake to 4.2%, removing major share overhang for the consumer-healthcare business, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a note. While Pfizer still owns 32% of Haleon, it has indicated that it plans to sell those shares at some point, he says. "So until that completes, investors will always have it at the back of their minds that there will be active selling in Haleon shares, albeit spaced out in chunks rather than a daily dribble on the market," he says. Haleon shares are down 2.1% at 326.7 pence. (


Mitchells & Butlers Investment Case Seen Aided by Better Profit, Cashflow

1157 GMT - Although Mitchells & Butlers first-quarter update showed a continued strong performance one of the main concerns with the pub-and-restaurant operator is cash conversion--with a free cashflow yield of around 5%--Shore Capital analyst Greg Johnson says in a note. Another is its ability to meet mandatory bond repayments out of internal cash generation--with around GBP120 million in annual repayments--Johnson says. A better profit outturn would be expected to see cashflow improve demonstrably, and come closer to covering repayments out of cash generation, which in turn would free up cashflow for shareholders, he says. "Reaching such a milestone could see us turn more positive on the investment case," Johnson says. Shares are up 2% at 260 pence. (


Antofagasta's Exit Rate for Copper Implies Room to Raise Guidance

1142 GMT - Antofagasta reported a good set of production results for 4Q, with copper output rising ahead of estimates, Citi analysts write in a research note. The Anglo-Chilean miner's copper production rose 10% quarter-on-quarter, which was 7% ahead of Citi's forecast, driven by higher throughput processing volumes, better copper grades and recoveries, the analysts say. Additionally, they flag that the "exit rate for copper production in Q4 implies some room for positive guidance revisions through the year." The commissioning of the desalination plant at the Centinela mine and the ramp-up of the Los Pelambres expansion are key drivers for higher production, the analysts say. Shares are down 2.9% at 1,575.00 pence. (

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-17-24 1222ET