BUSINESS LIVE: HSBC restoring quarterly dividends; Pearson ups outlook

The FTSE 100 has closed down 0.1 per cent to 7,413.42, while the FTSE 250 has ended the day 0.4 per cent lower at 20,079.23. Among UK companies with reports and updates are HSBC, Pearson, JD Sports and Senior. Read the Monday 1 August Business Live blog below.

website FTSE 100 has closed down 0.1 per cent to 7,413.42, while the FTSE 250 has ended the day 0.4 per cent lower at 20,079.23. Among UK companies with reports and updates are HSBC, Pearson, JD Sports and Senior. HSBC has offered investors a higher profitability target for 2022 and promised to restore quarterly dividend payments from next year, as Europe’s biggest bank pushed back on a proposal by top shareholder to split itself.”,”headline”:”BUSINESS CLOSE: HSBC to restore quarterly dividends; Pearson boosts profit forecast; JD Sports to sell…”,”liveBlogUpdate”:[{“@type”:”BlogPosting”,”articleBody”:”FTSE 250 has closed down 0.4%, or 85.67 points, to 20,079.23″,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T17:01:46+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T17:01:46+01:00″,”headline”:”FTSE 100 has closed down 0.1%, or 10 points, to 7,413.website Group’s latest results showed strong growth at the AIM-listed building supplies distributor, which, in a tough general economic environment, must have left management feeling vindicated for its bullish acquisitive strategy.

Its shares enjoyed a strong run throughout 2021 and while year-to-date the price has seen a dip, the model (delivering rather than making building materials) is working and the diversification strategy is paying off too.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T16:47:59+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T16:47:59+01:00″,”headline”:”SMALL CAP IDEA: Brickability website before close, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,426.33.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was 0.33% down at 20,098.95.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T16:26:06+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T16:26:06+01:00″,”headline”:”The Footsie closes website shares dived on Monday after the firm plunged to a loss, despite growth across all segments of the business.

Having recovered to a profit of £216.8million in the six months ending June last year, the London-based media company posted a £38.4million loss this time around. “,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T16:13:01+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T16:13:01+01:00″,”headline”:”Ascential shares tumble as media group swings to a website and sausages are set to become more expensive with the price of a pig in the UK increasing by more than a quarter, according to industry figures.  

A jump in the price of wheat and soya to ‘all-time highs’ has pushed up the price of feed, which accounts for most of the cost of raising a pig.

As a result, UK pig prices climbed 27 per cent in the three months to the end of June compared to the same period a year ago, meat producer Cranswick said in a trading update.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T15:33:07+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T15:31:43+01:00″,”headline”:”UK pig prices jump 27% as farmers face all-time-high feed website main US stock indexes have opened in the red following a strong rally last week. 

Dow Jones is down 0.3% to 32,746.52.

S&P 500 is down 0.4% to 4,112.65.

Nasdaq is down 0.1% to 12,374.06.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T15:28:59+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T15:28:59+01:00″,”headline”:”Wall Street opens website investing platform Interactive Investor has announced plans to cut its standard dealing charges as competition among low commission investing apps heats up.

From 1 September, the standard online dealing charge for UK and US trades will be cut from £7.99 to £5.99 for ii’s standard Investor plan as well its Pension Builder Sipp plan.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T14:37:04+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T14:37:04+01:00″,”headline”:”Interactive Investor cuts share and fund dealing fee to £5.website will give a one-off payment of £1,500 to its lowest paid workers to support them during the cost-of-living crisis, but bosses have warned of further cuts to the workforce.

The banking giant said the cash boost will go to junior staff including customer-facing employees in UK branches and contact centres.

The impact of rising inflation and the soaring cost of energy means some workers will need more support to avoid financial hardship in the coming months, HSBC said.

The one-off payments follow the bank’s discussions with trade union Unite, and will arrive in August pay cheques.

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said:

Unite has worked tirelessly to demonstrate to HSBC the need for urgent action to help thousands of employees facing the largest squeeze on their incomes.

The union will continue to campaign to ensure all staff receive a fully consolidated pay increase to ensure pay rates keep up with living costs.

But bosses at HSBC said a cut to its workforce will be \”inevitable over time\” as it shuts branches and moves to more digital and automated banking services.

The bank said it aims to trim worker numbers by not replacing some staff when they leave, with typically between 20,000 and 25,000 quitting each year to change jobs, according to chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T14:00:01+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T14:00:01+01:00″,”headline”:”HSBC hands £1,500 payout to junior staff but warns over workforce website everything seems more expensive than a year ago, which means Britons are increasingly looking for simple tips and tricks to help cut costs.

Each Friday, one of our expert team of personal finance journalists rounds up five tips we think are worth noting that can go a little way to helping you save money, or make money in the midst of sky-high inflation and rocketing bills.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T13:51:36+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T13:51:36+01:00″,”headline”:”Money saving tips: Drive slower to cut costs and camp at website recovery in air travel has boosted revenues at Senior, with the London-listed aircraft parts supplier resuming dividends after more than two years.

Senior, which supplies parts such as airframes and engine build-up tubes to planemakers including Boeing and Airbus, posted a 16 per cent rise in revenues to £402.2million in the first half.

It attributed the increase to a ramp up in the production of planes and heavy duty trucks, as well as favourable exchange rates and ‘pricing benefits’. “,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Mike Sheen”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T13:25:54+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T13:25:54+01:00″,”headline”:”Aircraft parts supplier Senior resumes dividend payouts as post-pandemic air travel recovery boosts website a fifth more Londoners are buying homes outside of the capital than before the pandemic, research has found.  

Londoners bought 40,540 homes outside of the city in the first half of this year, 19 per cent more than the average for the years 2015 to 2019 which was 34,140, according to research from Hamptons.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T13:23:03+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T13:23:03+01:00″,”headline”:”Epping Forest and Slough top locations for home buyers leaving website race to become the new prime minister and Tory leader is very much a battle of rival tax plans: how fast and how deep.

Rishi Sunak today unveiled plans for a 4p cut in income tax that would take the basic rate to 16 per cent, though not until the end of the decade.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T13:00:34+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T13:00:34+01:00″,”headline”:”HOW are No10 rivals planning to put more money back in your website price of pigs in the UK increased by 27 per cent in the first quarter, meat producer Cranswick said as it posted rising revenues.

One of the UK’s leading pork producers, Cranswick processes more than 3million pigs a year, creating premium sausages, bacon, joints and other treats. 

It said the hike in pig prices was due to the sharp rise in feed prices, with wheat and soya reaching all-time highs.

Revenue in its first quarter to June 25 was 7.6 per cent compared to a year ago, while on a like-for-like basis, excluding newer acquisitions, revenue was up 5.8 per cent, with strong growth in its core UK market.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T12:36:35+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T12:33:29+01:00″,”headline”:”UK pig prices up 27%, says meat producer website you own your home and are looking for some extra cash in retirement, equity release could be for you.

It is not without risks and will reduce the size of the estate you leave behind. “,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T12:29:55+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T12:29:55+01:00″,”headline”:”How does equity release work and what are the website finance boss of property platform OnTheMarket, Clive Beattie, has stepped down ‘to pursue another opportunity’, the company said.

The board has appointed consultants at Korn Ferry to find a replacement.

Chris Bell, chairman of OnTheMarket, said:

On behalf of the Board I would like to express our thanks to Clive for all that he has done for OnTheMarket, from supporting with our successful AIM listing in 2018, to becoming Acting CEO and ensuring OnTheMarket emerged from the Covid pandemic stronger, through to the launch of our new strategy.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T12:24:39+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T12:23:15+01:00″,”headline”:”OnTheMarket finance boss steps website 100 is up 0.6% to 7,464.52, with Pearson and HSBC topping the risers’ chart.

FTSE 250 is flat at 20,160.52, with Quilter topping the risers’ chart.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T12:18:26+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T12:17:45+01:00″,”headline”:”Market re-cap…website lucky Premium Bond holder has scooped a 100,000 per cent return on their investment after winning £25,000 on a holding of just £25 in this month’s draw.

It also proves that older purchases can win too, with the bond having been bought in November 1983 – the same month that saw Billy Joel dominate the singles chart with Uptown Girl and Sean Connery star as James Bond one last time in Never Say Never Again.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T12:14:42+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T12:14:42+01:00″,”headline”:”Premium Bond holder wins £25k off £25 holding purchased in website profits jumped in the first six months of 2022 amid a significant rebound in students sitting exams and huge demand for English language tests.

Britain’s largest education company reported first-half profits soared to £131million from just £18million, on the back of healthy sales growth across four of its five new global divisions.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T17:37:36+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T11:49:07+01:00″,”headline”:”Pearson buoyed by demand for English language website hunters need to spend almost nine times their annual income to purchase a property, new figures have revealed.

The average home sold in England cost the equivalent of 8.7 times the average annual disposable household income.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T11:14:28+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T11:14:28+01:00″,”headline”:”Average house in England now costs nearly NINE times typical website Neiss, chief European economist at PGIM Fixed Income:

‘The market should not be surprised if the Bank of England (BoE) raises rates by 50 basis points on Thursday. The BoE may see this meeting as an opportunity to put through one more final, substantive rate hike before the situation in the economy starts to soften materially – after which it may have to temper the pace of further interest rate rises.

‘There are already signs the UK economy is starting to cool. Looking ahead, we are facing energy prices that will continue to surge – feeding into higher inflation and eroding consumer spending power – and our largest trading partner in Europe, Germany, is facing a very challenging winter. While the UK does not rely on imported gas from Russia directly, it is nevertheless exposed to a sudden stop in gas flows from Russia to Europe via higher prices. This uncertainty alone will weigh on activity, both in the UK and across the Channel.

‘While the optics of raising rates above the previous 25 basis point increments could look like the BoE is behind the curve, investors should remember the BoE started hiking earlier than others, and a more aggressive hike on Thursday would not look out of the ordinary given the recent hikes we have seen elsewhere this summer.

‘There is still a lot of uncertainty around how the recent energy price and inflation shocks will impact economic activity, as well as the cumulative impact of rate rises by the BoE since last December, as these will take some time to feed through. There is broad agreement that the economy is set to cool further, but what remains an open question is by how much, and this is going to determine the path of policy going forward.

‘A key risk is that aggressive Fed tightening further weighs on sterling relative to the US dollar, putting added pressure on inflation. In a global context, the UK is a relatively small, open economy and is sensitive to global financial conditions. This dynamic could push the BoE into having to raise rates further, even as the UK economy visibly weakens.'”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Mike Sheen”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T10:49:23+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T10:49:23+01:00″,”headline”:”This may be the final meaningful BoE website Sports has agreed to sell its Footasylum chain to Aurelius Group, a German private equity firm, for £37.5million.

The sports retailer bought the streetwear brand for £86million in 2019 but has been forced to dispose of it after the competition watchdog ruled that the takeover could lead to a ‘worse deal’ for consumers.

The group successfully appealed the initial decision to block the takeover but the Competition and Markets Authority issued a final notice to sell last November.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Mike Sheen”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T10:28:10+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T10:28:10+01:00″,”headline”:”‘A costly mistake’: JD Sports sells Footasylum to German private equity firm Aurelius for £37.5m – having…website PMI survey wasn’t all bad news though, with further signs that cost inflation at manufacturers and supply pressures are already passed their respective peaks, according to the survey.

Martin Beck, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, says that despite the cooling in inflationary pressures, the Bank of England is unlikely to hold back rising rates this week.

He says:

Manufacturers’ input costs rose at the slowest pace since January 2021, following a broad-based fall in commodity prices. The combination of weaker input cost pressures and softer demand meant that companies increased their prices at the slowest pace since last May.

The MPC should be heartened by the cooling in inflationary pressures. But it’s unlikely to have any impact on their thinking for this week’s meeting, where a rate rise of at least 25bps is certain and an increase of 50bps is a live possibility.

But with demand weakening both at home and abroad, the EY ITEM Club expects producer output price inflation to continue to cool over the remainder of 2022, which should mean that the need to continue to tighten monetary policy reduces.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T10:27:19+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T10:27:19+01:00″,”headline”:”Manufacturing PMI suggests goods price inflation is starting to website UK’s manufacturing sector grew at its slowest pace in over two years last month as output plunged.

The S&P Global/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI scored 52.1 in July, down from 52.8 in June. It is the lowest for 25 months.

It means that the sector is still growing, albeit slowly. Anything above 50 is considered to show growth.

Manufacturers saw the first fall in output since May 2020, while new orders also fell.

This reflected ‘downturns in the consumer and intermediate goods sub-industries’ as  the cost of living crisis takes a toll on demand for goods.

Commenting on the latest survey results, Rob Dobson, Director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:

The UK manufacturing sector shifted into reverse gear at the start of the third quarter. Output contracted for the first time since May 2020, as new order intakes suffered the first back-to-back monthly decreases for two years.

Rising market uncertainty, the cost of living crisis, war in Ukraine, ongoing supply issues and inflationary pressures are all hitting demand for goods at the same time, while lingering post-Brexit issues and the darkening global economic backdrop are hampering exports.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Mike Sheen”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T10:28:28+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T10:09:28+01:00″,”headline”:”UK factories post first drop in output in over two website Sports has confirmed it has agreed to sell its Footasylum chain to Aurelius Group, a German asset management firm, for £37.5million.

The retailer bought the streetwear brand for £86million in 2019 but has been forced to dispose of it after the competition watchdog ruled that the takeover could lead to a ‘worse deal’ for consumers. 

It successfully appealed the initial decision to block the takeover but the Competition Markets Authority issued a final notice to sell last November. 

JD Sports shares are up 0.7 per cent to 130.45p.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T09:36:35+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T09:36:35+01:00″,”headline”:”JD Sports sells Footasylum to Aurelius Group for £37.website pledged to restore dividends to pre-pandemic levels ‘as soon as possible’ and pushed back against calls by major shareholder Ping An for the bank’s break-up.

The UK lender told investors it would pay an interim dividend of 9 cents (7p) per share and also aim to revert to quarterly dividends next year, despite posting falling profits.

It made a pre-tax profit of $9.2billion in the first half, down from $10.8billion a year ago, but ahead of analysts’ estimates. Revenues were flat at $25.2billion.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Mike Sheen”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T09:29:29+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T09:29:29+01:00″,”headline”:”HSBC pledges to restore dividends to pre-Covid levels despite fall in first-half profit as bank pushes back…website 250 listed events group Ascential is the top faller after it reported widening losses and said it would not pay an interim dividend again.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T09:23:35+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T09:19:51+01:00″,”headline”:”… and the top website management firm Quilter is topping the winners chart after reports that NatWest is in the early stages of studying a bid for the company.

A takeover would be the biggest for the British lender since the bank went into taxpayer ownership at the height of the financial crisis with a £46billion bailout, according to the Mail on Sunday.

FTSE 100 firms HSBC and Pearson are also topping the chart.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T09:19:23+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T09:18:12+01:00″,”headline”:”This morning’s top risers across the FTSE 350…website Britzman, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, comments on Heineken’s results, which showed the firm’s organic revenues climbing by around a quarter to €16.4billion in the first half of the year:

Beers remain as much of a staple as ever, with demand showing little sign of slowing despite mounting pressures on disposable income. Sales and profit jumped at the half year mark as consumers drank more beer at higher prices.

Heineken’s strong list of premium brands, from Moretti to Desperados, continue to benefit from the ongoing premiumisation trend. And it’s a good job too because cost inflation lingers and there’ll be less kickback on price rises at the higher end of the value scale.

Speaking of costs, they’re creeping up in the background. Heinekens doing a great job of keeping them from ruining the party largely due to the huge cost saving programme that’s underway. The target’s €2bn in savings by 2023, relative to the 2019 cost base and with €1.7bn expected to be delivered by the end of this year, progress is strong.

“,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T09:08:45+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T09:08:45+01:00″,”headline”:”‘Beers remain as much of a staple as website Sunak denied panicking today after offering a delayed 4p cut to income tax if he becomes Prime Minister.

The former chancellor made the offer of a ‘radical but realistic’ cut as he prepared to face Liz Truss in the second Tory leadership hustings tonight, with consensus that he is lagging far behind.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T08:47:32+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T08:47:32+01:00″,”headline”:”Sunak denies he is ‘panicking’ with ‘Thatcherite’ 4p income tax website stocks have inched higher again this morning with HSBC surging after providing an upbeat earnings outlook, while easing inflation expectations dampen expectations of a super-sized rate hike from the Bank of England this week.

The FTSE 100 is up 0.3 per cent, while HSBC has jumped 5.9 per cent after posting a higher profitability target and bullish dividend outlook. The wider banking index has added 1.5 per cent.

Pearson is up 5.6 per cent as the education group reiterated its full-year profit outlook and said its new integrated structure under boss Andy Bird was helping to save costs and grow the top line.

The FTSE 250 is flat with Quilter jumping 13.8 per cent on reports that NatWest Group is considering a bid for the fund manager.

The British public’s expectations for inflation fell again in July, a survey showed, potentially adding to the case for the BoE to increase interest rates by only a quarter percentage point later this week. “,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Mike Sheen”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T08:41:03+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T08:41:03+01:00″,”headline”:”Market open: FTSE 100 up 0.3%; FTSE 250 website public register of property designed to crack down on dirty money laundered through the UK is set to go live today. 

The Register of Overseas Entities will force landowners in the UK to reveal their identity, in an effort to root out oligarchs and criminals buying property. “,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T08:24:29+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T08:24:29+01:00″,”headline”:”UK property register to target oligarchs and website equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Sophie Lund-Yates:

The latest National Bureau of Statistics of China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index unexpectedly fell to 49.0 in July, from 50.2 in the previous month and missing market forecasts of 50.4.

There was a very mixed bag hidden within the results, with core trends showing the negative effect of new lockdowns in key cities and general concerns over the global economy, following sharp monetary tightening efforts. Output, new orders, buying levels and export orders all shrank. This latest data set does very little to offset concerns around darkening global economic output, especially when put together with a further easing of sentiment.

These very concerns have fed into a drop in Brent Crude prices, now at around $103 per barrel. Questions over demand are outweighing serious supply constraints, suggesting industrial outlooks are bleak. The biggest contributor to this recent shift is without a doubt the news that factory activity in the world’s largest oil importer, China, has fallen unexpectedly. For the global consumer, this is likely to be met with relief as the cost to fill up cars recedes, but the broader theme of uncertainty sadly outweighs these short-term wins.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T09:27:56+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T08:07:31+01:00″,”headline”:”Weaker economic outlook as China manufacturing growth website huge number of Britons of all ages have no savings at a time when prices are rising by levels not seen in 40 years, new research shows.

Almost half of under 25s have no savings at all, according to research by MoneySupermarket.”,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T08:05:28+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T08:05:28+01:00″,”headline”:”One in four Britons have no savings to combat cost of living website of Britain’s biggest shopkeepers has joined the call for Tory leadership candidates to prioritise a shake-up of ‘outdated’ business rates. 

Iceland boss Richard Walker urged the next prime minister to promise a ‘root and branch’ reform of the tax. 

He said the levy is penalising bricks and mortar retailers and, without a fundamental change, the High Street will ‘continue to decline’. “,”author”:{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Mike Sheen”},”dateModified”:”2022-08-01T07:49:36+01:00″,”datePublished”:”2022-08-01T07:49:36+01:00″,”headline”:”One of Britain’s biggest shopkeepers joins call for Tory leadership candidates to prioritise shake-up of…website website Sheen”},{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Camilla Canocchi”},{“@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Harry Wise”}]}

  • <img website

    Mike Sheen

    Host commentator

  • <img website

    Camilla Canocchi

    Host commentator

  • <img website

    Harry Wise

    Host commentator

17:01

FTSE 100 has closed down 0.1%, or 10 points, to 7,413.4

FTSE 250 has closed down 0.4%, or 85.67 points, to 20,079.23

16:47

SMALL CAP IDEA: Brickability Group

Brickability Group’s latest results showed strong growth at the AIM-listed building supplies distributor, which, in a tough general economic environment, must have left management feeling vindicated for its bullish acquisitive strategy.

Its shares enjoyed a strong run throughout 2021 and while year-to-date the price has seen a dip, the model (delivering rather than making building materials) is working and the diversification strategy is paying off too.

<div

With only a handful of competitors jostling for space in the brick-distribution scene, Brickability has seized on the opportunity to expand, both organically and acquisitively.

16:26

The Footsie closes soon

Just before close, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,426.33.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was 0.33% down at 20,098.95.

16:13

Ascential shares tumble as media group swings to a loss

Ascential shares dived on Monday after the firm plunged to a loss, despite growth across all segments of the business.

Having recovered to a profit of £216.8million in the six months ending June last year, the London-based media company posted a £38.4million loss this time around.

<

Having recovered to a profit of £216.8million in the six months ending June last year, the London-based information services provider has now posted a £38.4million loss this time around.