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FTSE 100 Lower as Investors Fret Over Evergrande

10/21/2021 | 03:27am EST

FTSE 100 Led Lower by Mining Stocks Amid Fresh Evergrande Fears

0804 GMT - The FTSE 100 drops 0.3% to 7199 points, led by mining stocks, as investors fret over Chinese property group Evergrande's potential debt default. Miners including Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Glencore slide on lower commodity prices after Evergrande said its plan to raise funds by selling a stake in a subsidiary fell through. Anglo American shares decline 3.5% even after the miner posted stronger third-quarter production. Barclays falls 0.8% after the bank posted a drop in net interest margin--a key measure of profitability--for the third quarter. Unilever gains 1.5% after the consumer goods giant beat its third-quarter sales growth forecast. (renae.dyer@wsj.com)

Companies News: 

Barclays Profit Rises on Investment Banking--Update

Barclays PLC said its net profit rose in the third quarter, driven by a continued strong performance at its investment bank.


Unilever 3Q Underlying Sales Rose, Backs Margin Guidance Despite Cost Inflation

Unilever PLC said Thursday that third-quarter underlying sales rose on good growth in its priority markets of the U.S., China and India, development of online shopping channels and growth of portfolio brands.


St. James's Place 3Q Net Inflows, Funds Under Management Rose

St. James's Place PLC said Thursday that funds under management and net inflows increased significantly in the third quarter of 2021.


Rentokil Initial 3Q Revenue Rose 0.5%, Backs 2021 Guidance

Rentokil Initial PLC on Thursday reported a 0.5% rise in third quarter revenue at actual exchange rates and backed its full-year guidance.


Anglo American Platinum Reports Flat 3Q Production; Reaffirms 2021 Guidance

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. on Thursday reported broadly flat production for the third quarter and reiterated full-year guidance.


Babcock International 1H Revenue Seen to Rise; FY Outlook Unchanged

Babcock International Group PLC said Thursday that performance for the first half of fiscal 2022 was in line with its expectations and it backed its guidance for the full year.


Gateley (Holdings) Shareholders Sell GBP11.4 Mln Worth of Shares

Gateley (Holdings) PLC said Thursday that 11.4 million pounds ($15.8 million) worth of shares have been sold on behalf of certain directors and employees, as first announced late Wednesday.


Renishaw 1Q Pretax Profit Rose 39%

Renishaw PLC said Thursday that its profit and revenue increased in the first quarter of the fiscal year and that it has a record order book.


GB Group Says 1H Sales, Adjusted Operating Profit Grew

GB Group PLC said Thursday that revenue and adjusted operating profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 increased, and that the outlook for the second half is in line with the company's expectations.


FirstGroup Sells Greyhound to FlixMobility for $172 Mln

FirstGroup PLC said Thursday it has sold its North American subsidiary Greyhound Lines, Inc. to FlixMobility GmbH for a total cash consideration of $172 million, effective immediately.


Driver Group Says FY 2021 Underlying Pretax Profit Is in Line With Views

Driver Group PLC said Thursday that it expects to report an underlying pretax profit for the fiscal 2021 in line with market expectations.


Provident Financial 3Q Performance Improved, Mulls 2021 Dividend

Provident Financial PLC said Thursday that its third-quarter performance improved significantly on more favorable macroeconomic conditions and customer demand for credit, and if it persists it will consider an ordinary dividend for 2021.

Market Talk: 

Just Eat's Plans for Future Seen as Promising

0810 GMT - Just Eat's capital markets day rhetoric promises much of what investors would like to see: putting delivery at the heart of strategy, Jefferies says. The food delivery group's comment on deploying its "clear playbook in the U.S. to overcome current challenges" is likely to create the most headlines, the U.S. bank says. "We had held a vain hope that the U.S. would have been a candidate for strategic, not organic growth, measures. We go into the noon presentations with an open mind," Jefferies says. Elsewhere, Just Eat's new long-term targets look sturdy, except perhaps the 2022 Ebitda plans. Jefferies retains its buy rating and price target of 8,600 pence. Shares in London are down 4% at 5,815 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Rentokil's 3Q Revenue Slightly Misses Mark But Guidance Reassures

0804 GMT - Rentokil's third quarter organic revenue of GBP761.3 million missed market consensus by 1%, but exceeded Jefferies's expectations of GBP753 million. The pest-control, hygiene and work-wear services provider's outlook comments are reassuring regardless, the U.S. bank says, and the company appears to be on track to deliver a full-year performance in line with the guidance provided at the interim results. The FTSE 100 company said in July that it expects to report mid-single digit organic growth in its businesses for the full year. Jefferies retains its buy rating and price target of 650.0 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Unilever's 3Q Updates Seen as Good Enough Given Low Expectations

0800 GMT - Unilever's third-quarter performance was just ahead of market consensus, led by strong pricing, and, relative to low expectations, feels like a good enough quarter, Jefferies says. The Anglo-Dutch multisector retailer's decisive progress on pricing--rising 4.1% over the quarter to deal with cost inflation--is a positive given the current climate, the U.S. bank says. That said, Unilever's underlying challenge remains in accelerating volume growth from its level of around 2%, Jefferies says. Jefferies retains its buy rating and price target of 3,819 pence. Shares are up 1.3% at 3,869.5 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

UK Offers Up to GBP6 Bln in July 2053 Green Gilt

0751 GMT - The U.K. is offering up to GBP6 billion in the new July 2053 green gilt Thursday, after the transaction was delayed from Tuesday. "At a size of around GBP6bn this could bring some bearish pressure on the long-end, but we expect the supply to go very well," Mizuho says. A sizeable order book is likely, as the syndicated deal is expected to attract ESG funds and the pension and liability-driven investment community, "who won't necessarily mind paying a slight premium for a decent block of duration," analysts at the bank say. This is the U.K.'s second green bond, following the inaugural July 2033 green gilt last month. (lorena.ruibal@wsj.com)

Shrinking UK Fiscal Deficit Unlikely to Boost Spending

0743 GMT - U.K. public sector net borrowing keeps falling relative to the previous year, enabling Treasury Chief Rishi Sunak to present better figures at next week's Budget, though further higher spending is unlikely, says Capital Economics. Official data showed the country's fiscal deficit shrank to GBP21.8 billion in September from GBP28.8 billion in the same month a year ago. "September's public finances figures mean that the Chancellor will be able to boast in next Wednesday's Budget that he has reduced government borrowing much quicker than expected," says chief U.K. economist Paul Dales. But he is still likely to set some tight fiscal rules, which means he is unlikely to announce a major net giveaway next week, he adds. (lorena.ruibal@wsj.com)

Barclays 3Q Driven by Record Performance for Corporate and Investment Banking, Says Citi

0738 GMT - Third-quarter adjusted pretax profit at Barclays's corporate and investment banking division is 39% ahead of consensus and this was driven by the unit's revenue performance, which was 10% ahead on year, Citi says. The FTSE 100-listed bank's adjusted pretax profit came in at GBP1.5 billion, also thanks to its provision reversals, Citi says. Citi expects upgrades to 2021 earnings per share of between 5% and 10%, and upgrades of between 2% and 5% for 2022. A key point from this performance is, however, the sustainability of corporate and investment banking revenue and whether the bank will continue benefiting from CIB performance in the coming quarters, Citi says. Citi has a neutral rating on the stock. (sabela.ojea@wsj.com; @sabelaojeaguix)

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Dow Jones Newswires; paul.larkins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-21-21 0527ET

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