After shedding a chunk of its post-May Brexit speech growth during yesterday’s trading the pound has made some mild gains this morning, rising 0.1% against the dollar and 0.3% against the euro (the latter presumably a bit jittery ahead of the day’s ECB get-together). This, of course, was bad news for the FTSE, which slipped back by 0.1% as the session got underway.
While not as ‘super’ as last Thursday’s deluge of retail updates, this morning still brought with it a decent selection of trading statements. Most pertinent to the FTSE was the third quarter report from Royal Mail. Despite striking a largely positive tone, with parcel revenue and volumes rising 3% and 2% respectively over Christmas, investors weren’t impressed with the company’s performance, sending the stock nearly 4.5% lower following news revenue was flat for the 9 months to December.
A similarly negative response greeted Pets At Home’s Q3 update, the company dropping more than 6.5% after posting a softer than expected 0.1% rise in like-for-like sales thanks to weak trading in its Merchandise division. Better were the reports from Halfords and Moneysupermarket.com. The former rose 7.5% after revealing comparable sales growth of 7% over Christmas, double what was forecast, alongside a special dividend of 10p per share; the latter, meanwhile, jumped 10% as fourth quarter group revenue surged by 20% year-on-year.