FTSE 100 edges closer to rising oil prices amid Ukraine conflict

The FTSE 100 closed on Wednesday despite the war in Ukraine, with oil giants such as BP and Shell rising as the price of oil continues to trade above $100 a barrel on fears sanctions could cause disruption major energy supply. “The latest crude surge came despite the International Energy Agency releasing barrels from its emergency reserves, demonstrating relative helplessness in the face of the supply disruption caused by the invasion of the United States. ‘Ukraine by Russia,’ said AJ Bell. The best riser of the day was Polymetal International which closed up 19%, followed by British engineering company Rolls-Royce whose shares closed up 6.8%.

Companies News: 

Aviva to acquire Succession Wealth for £385m to strengthen its position in the UK

Aviva PLC said on Wednesday it would buy Succession Wealth for 385 million pounds ($513 million) in a deal that strengthens its position in the growing UK market.

Persimmon’s 2021 pre-tax profit increased on higher completions and selling prices

Persimmon PLC said on Wednesday that pre-tax profit rose in 2021 on the back of an increase in the number of homes sold and higher selling prices.

Weir Group’s full-year pre-tax profit growth forecast falls short

Weir Group PLC reported an increase in pre-tax profit for 2021 on Wednesday, which missed its own guidance, and said it expects to post strong revenue and profit growth for 2022.

Europa Oil & Gas acquisition of exploration license in Ireland fails

Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) PLC said on Wednesday it would not acquire the Frontier exploration license offshore Ireland after DNO North Sea (UK) Ltd. chose to terminate the sale and purchase agreement.

Hiscox Earned Pre-Tax Profit in 2021; Sees outlook as positive

Hiscox Ltd. on Wednesday reported a return to pretax profit for 2021 and said it expects to end 2022 as a good year.

Aviva PLC’s pre-tax profit fell in 2021; Increase the 2022 dividend by 40%

Aviva PLC on Wednesday posted lower pre-tax profit for 2021, but raised its dividend policy for 2022 and 2023.

Profit from Vistry 2021, turnover up; sees a good start for 2022

Vistry Group PLC said on Wednesday that 2021 pre-tax profit rose significantly along with revenue, and it reported a strong start to the year with an increase in average sales.

Vertu Motors raises its profit forecast for fiscal 2022

Vertu Motors PLC on Wednesday raised its financial forecast for the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, reflecting higher margins amid industry tailwinds and limited vehicle supply.

Foxtons moves to 2021 pre-tax profit under better market conditions

Foxtons Group PLC said on Wednesday it had moved to a pre-tax profit in 2021 on higher revenues from improving market conditions and greater market share, and reinstated a final dividend.

Nichols made a pre-tax profit in 2021; Confident for 2022

Nichols PLC said on Wednesday it posted a pre-tax loss in 2021, but said it entered 2022 with excellent momentum and a strong financial position.

Abingdon Health shares fall on lower first-half revenue

Shares of Abingdon Health PLC fell on Wednesday after the company said first-half revenue was significantly below management’s expectations, mainly due to a lack of revenue from the UK Department of Health and Social Care , or DHSC.

McKay Securities agrees £272m workspace takeover; The stock jump

Shares of McKay Securities PLC rose 27% on Wednesday after the company announced it had accepted a £272 million ($362.4 million) takeover by office rental company FTSE 250 Workspace Group PLC.

Market Talk: 

Weir shares jump after upbeat fiscal year results and outlook

1300 GMT – Weir Group shares jumped 9% to 1,663 pence after the Scottish multinational engineering firm reported higher pre-tax profit for 2021 and said it expects revenue and 2022 earnings rise after continued strong order momentum in the fourth quarter. The company’s post-earnings comments confirmed its strong outlook after FY21 numbers slightly beat expectations, RBC Capital Markets said. “We reiterate our outperformance rating, reflecting both a very positive outlook on the mining investment markets and our view that Weir Minerals’ underlying performance not only highlights a top-tier mining equipment game, but also features comparable to much higher rated ‘quality’ names in our broader coverage,” says RBC, also confirming its price target of 2,470 pence.

Sanctions increase risk of default for Russian companies

12:42 GMT – Capital Economics expects a higher risk of Russian companies defaulting on their debt. “Administrative measures by the Russian government could prevent companies from repaying their debts,” said the British economics firm. Russian companies’ access to foreign exchange markets has already been hampered by mandatory conversion orders, he says. In addition, Western governments could decide to halt energy imports from Russia amid further escalation of sanctions, which would hit companies’ hard-currency earnings hard, increasing default risks.

War in Ukraine raises doubts over Polymetal’s market listing

1212 GMT – Polymetal International could drop its London listing and go private as Russian companies face a backlash from investors following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, AJ Bell has said. After peaking at 2,028 pence around mid-2020, Polymetal shares are trading down 0.6% to 257 pence on Wednesday, although they rose earlier after the miner’s annual results. “Investors are most concerned about the impact Russia sanctions could have on the business and what it would mean for dividends and even the future of Polymetal’s London stock exchange listing,” AJ said. Bell. “There has been a rapid shift in thinking among Western institutional investors towards exposure to Russia and we are likely to see many of them sever their ties with the country.”

Persimmon’s results are comforting but uncertainty persists

11:56 GMT – Persimmon’s 2021 results were strong, with investors reassured by comments on its margins, and a strong start to 2022, Goodbody said. The homebuilder’s current strong performance is reassuring, but while there is still uncertainty surrounding the issue of developers paying to replace hazardous fire-rated coatings, it will be difficult for the industry as a whole to take momentum, despite attractive valuations, the Irish brokerage said. “We currently expect 2022 volume growth at the upper end of the forecast – around 7% – and only expect a slight margin improvement of around 20 basis points, so do not plan to change the numbers on the basis of this morning’s statement,” Goodbody said, retaining his buy rating on the stock. . The shares are up 5.5% at 2,449.0 pence.

Polymetal concerns focus on gold sales, currency controls and liquidity

11:36 GMT – Polymetal says its ability to run its mining operations normally is unaffected by the implications of the war in Ukraine, but gold bullion sales, currency controls and liquidity are three main areas of concern uncertainty amid current geopolitical events, Citi said. The mining group, which operates in Russia and Kazakhstan, reiterated its production forecast for the year 2022, but suspended its cost and capital expenditure forecasts and plans to update the market at a later date. “Dividend payments are expected in May 2022, at which time there should be better clarity on potential cash inflows, in our view,” Citi said.

Aviva’s dividend policy could appease Cevian Capital

11:27 GMT – Aviva’s plan to raise its dividend payout for 2022 to £4.75bn from £4bn was the big news for its annual results and may be enough to calm activist investor Cevian Capital , which had been pushing to distribute £5 billion to shareholders, says eToro. The social investment network adds that the new dividend pledge overshadowed negative news, such as the 10% drop in year-over-year profits despite the insurer cutting costs. “They (investors) will be reassured that the business is generating strong sales and premium growth,” eToro said.

Polymetal International shares rebound after positive going concern statement

1100 GMT – Polymetal International said it believes it can continue for at least the next 12 months, even in the most severe scenario in which the company is directly and indirectly affected by the sanctions against Russia, which could explain why the stock price has rebounded, says AJ Bell. However, the mining company has not discussed whether it might decide to withdraw its shares from London, the investment platform notes. “The main shareholder is Alexander Nesis with a 23.9% stake, followed by BlackRock at 10.09%. One would assume that Nesis might want to take the company private, but there might be a problem in transporting the funds to implement the transaction, given the tightening restrictions on payments in Russia,” says AJ Bell. Shares rise 5.9%.


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


(END) Dow Jones Newswire

March 02, 2022 12:44 p.m. ET (5:44 p.m. GMT)

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Felix J. Dixon