Join +750K new investors every month who copy stock picks from billionaire's portfoliosSign Up Free

Stocks fall as retail sales underwhelm in likely blow to GDP growth

Published 24/05/2024, 10:20
© Reuters.  FTSE 100 Live: Stocks fall as retail sales underwhelm in likely blow to GDP growth

Proactive Investors -

Abrdn climbs as boss set to depart

Abrdn (LON:ABDN) gained ground on news it would part company with chief executive Stephen Bird after four difficult years

In a statement, abdrn said that he and the group’s board had agreed the time was right for Bird to hand over the reins.

In his time in office, Abrdn’s value has almost halved with the company regularly lampooned for a name change that saw the vowels removed from Aberdeen, its previous name… Read more

Shares climbed 1.1% to 157.75p on the news.

UK economic growth to cool this quarter - analyst

UK gross domestic product (GDP) growth will likely cool between April and June against the first quarter, EY analysts say.

After retail sales data came in worse than expected on Friday, EY said GDP growth would be better than April in May but not be as strong over the second quarter, after the UK exited recession earlier this year.

“It's clear that the retail sector is still struggling to generate much momentum,” EY economist Peter Arnold said.

Sales over the course of April fell 2.3% month-on-month, against a 0.2% decline in March and worse than expectations for a 0.4% drop.

Highlighting softer composite Purchasing Managers’ Index data on Thursday, Arnold added: “It suggests that the UK is likely to see a weaker outturn for GDP growth in Q2, after Q1's very strong performance.”

The morning so far

The FTSE 100 index fell as much as 70 points in opening exchanges. Despite a slight recovery, the blue-chip index remained 47 points lower at 8,292 after the first hour of trades.

Retail sales data for April severely undershot forecasts, falling 2.3% month on month.

It follows a 0.2% fall in March and is much worse than the forecasted 0.4% drop, with sales volumes declining across most sectors.

On the company news front, GSK (LON:GSK) won a high-stake personal injury case in the state of Illinois, US, over its heartburn medication Zantac.

A jury determined that Zantac was not responsible for the plaintiff’s colon cancer, with the judge rejecting a request for $640 million in damages. Shares added 0.2%

National Grid (LON:NG) was the biggest faller of the morning following yesterday’s heavily discounted rights issue.

Speaking of energy, regulator Ofgem has confirmed bills will fall by 7% in July, or £122 on an annualised basis.

The energy price cap will be set at £1,568 for direct debit customers from July to the end of September, down from £1,690 currently, Ofgem said on Friday.

Intertek was among the top risers after the assurance, testing, inspection and certification (ATIC) services provider Intertek provided an upbeat trading update.

The company reported like-for-like (LFL) revenue growth of 7% at constant currency for the first four months of 2024. Shares added 2.1%.

Other top risers in the opening hour included Mondi PLC (LON:MNDI), Ocado Group PLC (LON:OCDO), BT Group PLC (LON:BTA) and Next plc (LON:NXT).

Stocks fall

The FTSE 100 index fell 66 points to 8,272 this morning, extending blue-chip losses encountered on Thursday.

National Grid was the biggest faller after Ofgem announced a drop in the energy price cap. DS Smith, St James’s Place and Entain (LON:ENT) were also off.

Intertek sent higher following upbeat trading update

Assurance, testing, inspection and certification (ATIC) services provider Intertek provided a “typically upbeat and ebullient” trading update today, per the words of Shore Capital Markets.

The company reported like-for-like (LFL) revenue growth of 7% at constant currency for the first four months of 2024.

Divisional growth was strong, with Consumer Products growing by 6.2%, Corporate Assurance by 7.6%, Health and Safety by 9.9%, Industry and Infrastructure by 4.2%, and World of Energy by 9.4%.

“We fundamentally like these ‘ATIC’ activities… being a necessary and growing element within the global economy, underpinning quality companies’ operations,” said Shore Cap.

Shares added 2.85%.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK


Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.