Shares in Royal Mail fell to a two-year low as it remained blocked by a union dispute.
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) announced another 19 days of strike from October to November at the mail group.
Shares fell 3.5%, or 6.85 pence, to 187.2 pence, but there was a glimmer of hope after CWU said Royal Mail had agreed to further talks today. If no solution is found, the strikes will fall on one of Royal Mail’s peak days.
Strikes: Royal Mail shares fell 3.5%, but there is a glimmer of hope after a telecoms union said Royal Mail had agreed to further talks
Workers want wage increases but, after suffering a £92m loss in the first quarter, Royal Mail said last week that the CWU had not identified “viable alternatives that would fund further wage increases”.
He also called for negotiations with Acas, a dispute resolution service, along with modernizing the way it works with the union.
JP Morgan analysts believe the strikes will encourage customers to turn to competitors, and Peel Hunt reiterated his sell recommendation. In 2013, Royal Mail was trading at 330 pence. It is now worth around £1.85bn and its shares are down 63% this year.
On another turbulent day in London, the FTSE 100 rose 0.3% or 20.8 points to 7,005.39 and the FTSE 250 rose 0.1% or 16.86 points to 17,320.97 .
The sharp warning from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was followed by a sharp intervention by the Bank of England in the bond markets in an attempt to restore calm.
Concerns about the health of UK pension funds amid bond market turmoil sent L&G, the UK’s largest provider of workplace pensions, tumbled 5.6%, or 13.1p, to 220.3p while investment group M&G fell 6.2%, or 11.1 pence. , to 168 pence, while shares in insurance company Aviva fell 4.9%, or 19.9 pence, to 389 pence.
Stock Clock – CML Microsystems
Shares of CML Microsystems rose as the positive update cheered investors. Ahead of the November interim results, the electronic chip maker said trading was “strong” in the six months to the end of September.
The AIM-listed company expects to generate much more revenue than last year thanks to a favorable exchange rate.
As a result, CML said it now expects revenue and earnings for the year to exceed market expectations. Shares rose 11.7%, or 41 pence, to 391 pence.
There was good news for Spirax Sarco following its £307.5m takeover of US firm Durex, which makes temperature sensors used to build semiconductors. The engineer, who bought Paris-based industrial heating firm Vulcanic in July, rose 2.5%, or 255 pence, to 10,385 pence.
Wetherspoons was one of the leaders in the decline of the mid-cap index – by 4.3%, or 19.4 points, to 429.2 points – after Liberum analysts published a gloomy forecast.
Ahead of the pub group’s October 7 preliminary results, the broker cut its price target to 450p from 600p and said the company’s current trading is likely to remain “subdued”.
Aston Martin hit an all-time low as the luxury car maker completed a £575.8m rights issue. As analysts are unsure whether its massive debt can be reduced, it fell 5%, or 7.55p, to 142.25p.
Shares in airport services company SSP fell 1.1%, or 2.3 pence, to 207.1 pence after mixed reports from brokers. The company that owns Upper Crust and Millie’s Cookies has received a price target raised by Morgan Stanley but lowered by Stifel and Deutsche Bank.
Meanwhile, Credit Suisse cut Deliveroo’s target price to 114p from 130p. But shares rose 3.8%, or 3.24 pence, to 87.8 pence.
The co-founder of I3 Energy has resigned as chief financial officer.
Graham Heath, who helped set up an oil and gas company in 2014, is leaving immediately. Shares rose 1.8%, or 0.4 pence, to 23.65 pence.
Fuel cell maker Ceres Power suffered after Boston-based Fidelity Investments cut its stake.
Shares fell 2.1%, or 8.2 pence, to 383.8 pence. Amigo Holdings is the latest company to spark a shareholder revolt over the fat cat payout.
At the annual general meeting, 45% voted against the creditor’s remuneration report. Shares rose 5.9%, or 0.22 points, to 4.02 points.
Getech hailed its “critical role in energy security” as it surged 3%, or 0.5p, to 17.25p in the six months to June 30, after its order backlog hit an all-time high. up 118% to £4.8m. The energy software company said revenue was up 11% to £2.7m.
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