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FTSE Closes Down as Omicron Variant Sparks Volatility

30/11/2021 5:32pm

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The FTSE 100 on Tuesday closed down in an already volatile week linked to the identification of the omicron Covid-19 variant first found in South Africa. "While data remains thin on the ground given the relative infancy of this strain, markets are likely to remain highly volatile and unpredictable as they react to any news that could guide our expectations over how this will play out," says Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.

 
Companies News: 

Glencore Faces Call From Activist to Sell Coal Assets

An activist investor has called on Glencore PLC to sell its thermal- coal business, pressuring the commodities giant to join other big miners in ditching the fuel.

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Future FY 2021 Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose

Future PLC said Tuesday that profit for fiscal 2021 rose as revenue increased, and raised its guidance for fiscal 2022.

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Town Centre Securities Posts Narrowed FY 2021 Pretax Loss

Town Centre Securities PLC said Tuesday that its pretax loss narrowed in fiscal 2021, as it benefited from revaluations of its portfolio, though revenue fell.

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Sosandar 1H Pretax Loss Narrowed; Performance Ahead of FY Expectations

Sosandar PLC on Tuesday reported a narrowed pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2022, backed by higher revenue as coronavirus-related restrictions eased, and said it is currently operating ahead of market expectations.

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Hochschild to Acquire Brazil-Focused Miner Amarillo Gold

Hochschild Mining PLC said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire TSX-listed Amarillo Gold Corp. for a transaction value of 164.5 million Canadian dollars (US$129.1 million).

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One Media iP Group Sees FY 2021 Revenue, Ebitda Increase

One Media iP Group PLC said Tuesday that it expects to report increased revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for fiscal 2021.

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VP PLC Reports 1H Profit, Sees FY 2022 Performance in Line

VP PLC on Tuesday reported improved earnings for the first half of the fiscal year, and forecast a full-year performance in line with internal expectations.

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John Menzies Sees 2021 in Line With Views; Warns on Labor Shortages

John Menzies PLC said Tuesday that the board expects 2021 performance to be at least in line with market expectations, but noted that labor availability, particularly in North America, remains challenging.

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GB Group 1H Pretax Profit Fell; 2H Seen in Line With Views

GB Group PLC said Tuesday that pretax profit fell for the first half of fiscal 2022 after booking higher costs, and that the board was confident of meeting its financial expectations for the remainder of the fiscal year.

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Nanoco Group 1Q Performance Was in Line With Board Expectations

Nanoco Group PLC said Tuesday that its performance for the first three months of fiscal 2022 was in line with the board's expectations.

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Wise 1H Pretax Profit Fell on Higher Costs as Revenue Grew

Wise PLC on Tuesday reported a fall in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 as it booked higher costs, while revenue rose by more than 30%.

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System1 Swung to 1H Pretax Profit, in Line With Guidance

System1 Group PLC reported on Tuesday a swing to pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 on higher revenue.

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Shaftesbury FY 2021 Net Loss Narrowed, Property Income Fell

Shaftesbury PLC on Tuesday reported a narrowed loss for fiscal 2021, and said net property income fell 13%.

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Bank of Georgia Signs $100 Mln Loan With US DFC

Bank of Georgia Group PLC said on Tuesday that its subsidiary JSC Bank of Georgia has signed a $100 million long-term loan agreement with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.

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Treatt FY 2021 Pretax Profit Rose 43%, Beating Management Views

Treatt PLC said Tuesday that pretax profit rose 43% in fiscal 2021, substantially beating management expectations, and raised its dividend.

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Ormonde Mining Names Nonexecutive Director Brendan McMorrow as CEO

Ormonde Mining PLC said Tuesday that Nonexecutive Director Brendan McMorrow has been appointed chief executive officer with immediate effect.

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Quantum Blockchain Technologies Changes Focus to Develop Different Bitcoin Mining Tool

Quantum Blockchain Technologies PLC said on Tuesday that it has decided to focus on developing a 5 nanometer application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC, as its proprietary Bitcoin mining tool.

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UK Regulator Directs Facebook to Sell off Giphy Over Competition Concerns -- Update

The U.K.'s competition regulator said Tuesday that it has directed Meta Platforms Inc., formerly Facebook, to sell social-media animated images company Giphy, with the social media company considering its options.

 
Market Talk: 

Wizz Air Expansion-Rate Challenges Likely to Weigh on Unit Revenues

1117 GMT - Wizz Air is still seen as facing challenges related to its expansion rate and these will likely weigh on its unit revenues, HSBC says. The budget airline's expansion into western Europe risks weighing on unit costs, as the region is more developed and thus a more expensive operating environment than eastern Europe, the U.K. bank says. Furthermore, there are risks to net earnings from a rising tax rate, HSBC says. "We view its 6% negotiated local tax rate in Switzerland as unsustainable as countries sign up to the OECD minimum tax level of 15%," the bank says. HSBC upgrades its rating on the stock to hold from reduce and lowers its target price to 3,634 pence from 3,900 pence.

EasyJet Could Face a Takeover if Coronavirus Persists, AJ Bell Says

1104 GMT - EasyJet's GBP1.1 billion pretax loss for fiscal 2021 is uncomfortable but is the airline industry's current reality, and market consolidation seems inevitable, AJ Bell says. The budget airline benefited from recently eased restrictions but the new Omicron coronavirus variant heralds more consumer uncertainty and renewed travel disruption, the brokerage says. EasyJet is shielded by its recent fundraise, but if more variants emerge shareholders might stop bailing airlines out and takeovers will be inevitable, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says. "EasyJet has already been subject to a takeover approach thought to be from Wizz Air, and it is no doubt in the sight of other players like International Consolidated Airlines," Mould says. Shares are down 2.3% at 490.9 pence.

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New Mexican Contractor Law Seen as Challenging for Fresnillo

1040 GMT - The new Mexican contractor law is making the operating environment more challenging for Fresnillo, but the miner's portfolio remains attractive in the long term, RBC Capital Markets says. The new law requires all employees undertaking key tasks to be employed by the group, and this has created a transitory phase for Fresnillo's operations, the Canadian bank says. However, there is upside potential for the shares, especially if the market starts to price in higher precious metals optionality, RBC adds. The bank reiterates an outperform rating on Fresnillo, but cuts the target price to 1,025 pence from 1,075 pence.

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EasyJet Looks Set for a Positive Summer Recovery

1005 GMT - EasyJet's unremarkable fiscal 2021 results have been eclipsed by its more promising outlook statements, with a very positive view of a summer 2022 recovery remaining in place, Goodbody says. The budget airline has also acquired additional slots at major airports as it focuses on building up its core footprint rather than widening, including building up its Gatwick fleet--this should see the mix of revenues improve in its favor over and above the recovery in pricing and enhanced revenue per passenger expected next year, the Irish brokerage says. "We would back them in [their positive outlook] and continue to see the stock as one of our preferred picks for 2022," Goodbody says, retaining its buy recommendation on the stock.

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EasyJet Focuses on Building Back Capacity Despite Omicron

0955 GMT - EasyJet's focus is on building back growth into the next summer, indicating demand is accelerating with key periods such as October half-term and the ski and Christmas seasons seeing strong performances, Davy Research says. EasyJet's plan is to continue to add capacity--it expects to fly around 70% of 2019 capacity in the upcoming second quarter, and fourth-quarter summer capacity will be close to 2019 levels, the Irish research firm says. "Although EasyJet says that it is too soon to see the impact of Omicron, second half summer revenue booked is ahead of fiscal 2019," Davy says, retaining its neutral rating on the budget airline stock. Shares are down 2.1% at 492.2 pence.

 

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Write to Sarka Halas at sarka.halas@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 30, 2021 12:17 ET (17:17 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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