Slowdown session as BHP exits FTSE 100
BHP’s latest session in the FTSE 100 index prompted a surge in activity today as tracking funds ended their exposure to one of London’s biggest stocks and top dividend-payers .
The mining giant’s decision to transfer its main listing to Sydney as part of the unification of its corporate structure represents a major blow for the City.
BHP was created in 2001 from the merger of BHP Limited and London-listed Billiton, but the vast majority of its profits are now generated by its Australian arm.
Bloomberg reported trading volumes today were almost six times the 20-day average as FTSE 100 trackers unloaded their holdings. BHP, which will continue to trade in London via a standard quote, was down 30p today at 2413p.
His departure creates space for a new entrant to the FTSE 100, with mobile phone tower company Airtel Africa due to take the place of BHP on Monday.
BHP’s exit added to the pessimistic mood as the FTSE 100 index fell almost 1% at the end of another turbulent week. The Elite slipped 70.83 points to 7483.47, but is still up in 2022 as London’s defensive characteristics shield investors from turmoil in the tech sector.
Long-term savings and pensions firm Phoenix was one of the biggest blue chip fallers of the day after Abrdn offloaded a 4% stake via a £264m placement at 660p per share.
Phoenix fell 4% or 27.8p to 658.4p but Abrdn, which cut its stake to 10%, rose 2.7p to 240.9p
The FTSE 250 index fell 193.91 points to 21,659.08, with Cineworld down 6% or 2.2p to 37.22p after Canadian rival Cineplex launched a fresh claim in the ongoing legal battle of the pair.
Outsourcer Capita also fell 0.6p to 31.78p after selling IT services company Trustmarque to One Equity Partners for £115m.
The £18.5m buyout plans have given struggling shares of ventilator company Avon Protection a modest boost. The military provider lifted 5p to 1053p as it also reported resilient Q1 trading.
Commentary: City Libor traders are not criminals, they never were
You don’t have to like the city’s shopkeepers (hardly anyone does) to think today’s Libor verdict overturning the criminal convictions is fair.
Until Libor, the rate at which banks borrow from each other, became central to the financial crisis, it was a niche instrument even in the Square Mile.
It wasn’t really regulated, and nobody really cared.
With the system faltering, it suddenly became important that the Libor be low to suggest that the banks were trusting each other, whatever the reality.
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Aviva boss: it’s time to go back to the office
THE chief executive of one of the city’s biggest institutions said today it was time for workers to return to their offices.
Amanda Blanc, boss of £16billion insurance giant Aviva, which has 20,000 London-based staff, said the “hokey cokey” of staff entering offices as the Covid cases were falling and then sent home was to end.
“My view is that we would like people to be in the office three days a week, although there is flexibility around that,” she said.
“I really want us to have some physical presence in the office, even if the way we work will be different.”
She told Radio 4: “It’s been like the hokey cokey, and I think it’s hard on our colleagues.”
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BHP volumes rise on final day in FTSE 100
BHP shares are broadly unchanged on the mining giant’s last day in the FTSE 100 index.
The heavyweight stock loses its blue chip status from tonight as it moves its main listing to Sydney as part of the unification of its corporate structure.
BHP is the third-biggest stock in the FTSE 100 index and one of its top dividend-payers, making the exit a blow for the City and index trackers are now forced to sell their shares .
Bloomberg noted that today’s BHP trading volumes were almost six times the 20-day average.
BHP was born in June 2001 from the merger of the Australian BHP Limited and the London-listed company Billiton. The vast majority of its profits are now generated by its Australian branch, prompting a search for a simpler corporate structure.
The miner’s shares will continue to trade in London via a standard listing. but from Monday will be replaced in the FTSE 100 by mobile phone infrastructure company Airtel Africa.
FTSE 100 eases, Phoenix falls after Abrn sale
The defensive characteristics of the FTSE 100 index have shielded London investors in recent sessions, with the elite closing near a two-year high last night.
The FTSE 100 gave up some of its recent gains today, losing 49 points to 7505.31.
Long-term savings and pensions business Phoenix was the biggest drop, falling 4% after Abrdn cut its stake through a £264m equity placement . Grocery tech company Ocado fell 3% and Primark owner Associated British Foods fell 2%.
The sale of Phoenix shares helped investment firm Abrn rise 1% and there were further gains for BT Group, which rose 1.4p to 194.95p.
The FTSE 250 index fell 0.8% or 176.15 points to 21,678, led by IG Group as its shares fell 6%.
Chinese demand boosts Apple sales
Tech giant Apple has revealed its sales rose 11.2% to a quarterly record of $123.9bn (£92.6bn) at the end of last year, the strong demand in China being one of the factors behind the better than expected performance.
Revenues in the Americas also grew double digits and there was growth across all product lines except iPads. iPhone sales accounted for 58% of the total after rising 9% to $71.6bn (£53.5bn).
Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “Record results this quarter were made possible by our most innovative suite of products and services yet.
“We are thrilled to see the response from customers around the world at a time when staying connected has never been more important.”
The California-based company reported an 18.2% increase in operating expenditure, including $6.3bn (£4.7bn) spent on R&D. It also faced chip shortages and other supply chain issues, but still managed to boost its net profit by 20% to £34.63 billion (£25.9 billion). sterling).
Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Apple’s operating model relies on an incredibly short production cycle because the hardware competition is so competitive. It’s obvious that this industry titan hasn’t faced insurmountable supply chain issues like some.
Apple shares rose 5% in after-hours trading in New York.
Apple calms Wall Street’s nerves
Wall Street volatility continues not to be a problem for the London market after the FTSE 100 index nudged a two-year high yesterday.
The elite, which benefits from its reliance on old-economy stocks in banking, oil and tobacco, is expected to rise another 10 points to 7,564.
Its improvement so far in 2022 contrasts sharply with the performance in the US, where the Nasdaq is now 17.6% below its November high after falling another 1.4% yesterday.
Trading on Wall Street has fluctuated wildly throughout this week as investors brace for the possibility of more frequent interest rate hikes beginning in March.
Today’s session is expected to be quieter in New York after Apple overcame ongoing chip shortages to post record quarterly sales. Shares of the iPhone maker rose 5% in after-hours trading, meaning Nasdaq futures are pointing to a positive start.
Oil prices remain near a seven-year high and are set for their sixth weekly gain after Brent futures peaked at $91 a barrel yesterday.
Supply issues and geopolitical tensions have kept prices inflated, with OPEC+ members not expected to change their production plans for March when they meet next week.