London midday: Stocks maintain losses after US tech earnings; NatWest slides

By Michele Maatouk

London stocks were still in the red by midday on Friday following underwhelming results overnight from Apple and Amazon, and as NatWest tumbled after its third-quarter numbers.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.4% at 7,043.35.

Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at AJ Bell, said: “Having held the line for most of this week the FTSE 100 finally caves to the negative pressure from big tech disappointments across the pond.

“The FTSE 100 may be underrepresented on the technology front but the wider hit to sentiment from some of the world’s largest companies dropping the ball couldn’t be entirely avoided.

“One of the Federal Reserve’s most closely followed measures of inflation is out later on and it may help set the scene ahead of a crunch interest rate meeting next week when a 75 basis point increase is seen as a racing certainty.”

On home shores, NatWest tanked after it reported flat third-quarter profit of £1.1bn amid a deteriorating outlook, which fell short of expectations of £1.2bn.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “NatWest has rounded off the banks’ reporting season in mixed fashion, with some enforced financial writedowns blotting the overall copybook.

“The planned withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland through its Ulster Bank subsidiary has led to a charge on the mortgage book of some €420m. In addition, NatWest has succumbed to the necessity of making bad debt provisions in line with most of its peers. Whereas the group bucked the trend in the second quarter by releasing £18m of provisions, for this quarter a charge of £242m has been made.

“This leaves the cumulative figure for this year as a provision of £193m, which compares to a release of £904m in the corresponding period last year, and the £1bn swing has affected overall numbers.”

Lloyds, Standard Chartered and Barclays also fell.

British Airways owner IAG flew lower despite saying it swung to a third-quarter profit as airline travel continued to recover from the Covid pandemic.

Computacenter was under the cosh after it said 2022 was set to be a year of “modest” growth in adjusted pre-tax profit following two “exceptional” years.

On the upside, British Gas owner Centrica rallied after saying it had reopened the Rough gas storage facility off the east coast of Yorkshire and was operating at about 20% of capacity, having completed engineering upgrades over the summer.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,043.35 -0.43%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,906.19 -0.97%
techMARK (TASX) 4,223.01 -0.10%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Centrica (CNA) 73.70p 5.86%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 111.90p 3.80%
GSK (GSK) 1,409.60p 1.63%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 5,662.00p 1.25%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 10,064.00p 1.14%
SSE (SSE) 1,540.50p 0.82%
Shell (SHEL) 2,444.50p 0.80%
Unilever (ULVR) 3,895.50p 0.79%
BAE Systems (BA.) 811.80p 0.69%
National Grid (NG.) 945.00p 0.51%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 224.80p -9.25%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 41.17p -3.76%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 516.60p -3.58%
M&G (MNG) 173.50p -3.53%
Barclays (BARC) 145.04p -3.47%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 478.30p -3.41%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,049.00p -3.32%
Prudential (PRU) 791.00p -3.18%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 116.02p -3.04%
SEGRO (SGRO) 784.60p -2.92%

FTSE 250 – Risers

International Public Partnerships Ltd. (INPP) 155.20p 3.33%
Drax Group (DRX) 512.00p 3.27%
Indivior (INDV) 1,630.00p 2.64%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 114.10p 2.24%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 2,095.00p 2.20%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 218.50p 2.10%
HICL Infrastructure (HICL) 167.20p 1.95%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 115.40p 1.32%
3i Infrastructure (3IN) 314.00p 1.29%
Chemring Group (CHG) 310.50p 1.14%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Computacenter (CCC) 1,791.00p -6.13%
ASOS (ASC) 608.50p -5.80%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 56.15p -5.55%
Future (FUTR) 1,170.00p -5.49%
Urban Logistics Reit (SHED) 132.50p -5.02%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 104.20p -5.01%
ITV (ITV) 66.30p -4.74%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 209.80p -4.72%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 100.95p -4.72%
888 Holdings (DI) (888) 92.45p -4.35%

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