An update on new business from St James’s Place has been well received with strong inflows helping propel the stock to the top of the board, although corporate updates have been far from universally kind to the market’s constituents today. Tough trading conditions are taking a toll on GKN, whilst Whitbread is propping up the index despite reporting an increase in headline profits and a 5% dividend hike – investors instead are picking up on the negatives including the key revpar (revenue per available room) metric, which continues to struggle especially in London. Shopping mall operator Intu also disappointed after flagging the risk of slowing rental incomes in 2017.
The day ahead is set to be rather quiet with very little in the way of economic news on the calendar so further direction is likely to be difficult to find. As such, holding on to the psychologically significant 7,000 level is far from guaranteed, although with central bankers due to speak later in the session, dovish tones here may be sufficient to allow some consolidation.