FTSE 100 rally continues as it eyes fresh 5-week high

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Josh Warner
By :  ,  Former Market Analyst

FTSE 100 futures

FTSE 100 futures are up 0.2% this morning at 7,894.4, on course to book its ninth consecutive sessions of gains and testing fresh five-week highs.

The FTSE 100 is on course to rise for a ninth consecutive day


Top UK stock news

Barclays (BARC) will cut more than 100 roles from its investment bank, according to Sky News. The move is in response to the slowdown in M&A activity and initial public offerings. The layoffs will not be confined to any single country and follows on from around 200 jobs being removed from the division last November.

Meanwhile, UK-listed banks like Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) and NatWest (NWG) are on the radar after the Financial Times reported the Bank of England is considering overhauling the deposit guarantee scheme following the recent banking crisis in the US. This could include raising the £85,000 limit and forcing banks to hold more cash.

Royal Mail, part of International Distribution Services (IDS), reached an agreement in principle over the weekend with the Communications Workers Union following a dispute over pay and employment terms. Details of the deal have not yet been revealed, but it will now be evaluated by the executive of the union before being put to members.

GSK (GSK) said Phase III trials of gepotidacin has provided data that suggests it has the potential to be the first in a new class of oral antibiotics for uncomplicated urinary tract infections in female adults and adolescents in over 20 years. The trial met its primary endpoint and GSK said it intends to submit the drug for approval by the US Food & Drug Administration in the second quarter.

BHP Group (BHP) has secured approval from the Federal Court of Australia for its AUD9.6 billion takeover of Oz Minerals. The copper miner’s shares will be suspended from trading on Tuesday and the scheme of arrangement will be implemented on May 2.

Shell (SHEL) has introduced its first electric ferry to its global operations, launching the ship at its Singapore refinery as it tries to reduce emissions in response to new rules imposed by the port authority that require all new vessels to be electric or powered by net-zero fuels from 2030.

John Wood Group (WG) has decided to engage with Apollo Management to see if a firm takeover offer can be agreed at a price of around 240p per share after previously rejecting multiple offers. Apollo will now have until the end of play on May 17 to make a firm offer or walk away.

Network International Holdings (NETW) said it has received a non-binding takeover proposal regarding a possible cash offer worth 387 pence per share from CVC Advisers and Francisco Partners’ Management. The company has rejected previous offers but said today it is ‘minded to recommend’ the latest offer to shareholders should a firm offer be made, although this is not guaranteed.

QinteiQ (QQ) upgraded its outlook and said it expects its full year results to be at the upper end of expectations following an ‘impressive’ fourth quarter, which resulted in annual order intake rising 40% to hit a new record high of over £1.7 billion. Underlying operating profit should come in at least £175 million over the full year.

PageGroup (PAGE) said gross profit declined 2.4% at constant currency in the first quarter as a record performance in EMEA was countered by tough conditions in Asia, the US and the UK. Gross profit rose 1.8% at actual exchange rates. It reiterated its aim to deliver full year operating profit of around £140 million.

Ashmore Group (ASHM) said assets under management increased by around $500 million in the first quarter of 2023 as $1.6 billion gain from its investment portfolio countered net outflows of $1.1 billion. The emerging markets asset manager said net outflows continued to ease.


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