Updated January 25th, 2024 at 15:25 IST
UK equity market faces headwinds
Elementis surged amid speculation of a potential bid for the chemical company.
UK stocks down: London's equity market experienced a bout of selling pressure on Thursday, witnessing notable declines in shares of IG Group and Wizz Air following disappointing financial results. However, Elementis surged amid speculation of a potential bid for the chemical company.
As of 0824 GMT, the blue-chip FTSE 100 dipped 0.2 per cent, accompanied by a 0.3 per cent fall in the domestically focused FTSE 250. This reversal followed their recent climb to the highest levels in over a week, driven by a boost in China-exposed stocks due to announced support measures aiming to restore confidence in the economy and markets.
IG Group faced a substantial setback, with shares plummeting 9.3 per cent, marking the most significant decline since March 2023. The online trading platform reported a dip in first-half earnings attributed to softer market conditions, contributing to the sell-off.
St. James's Place also felt the impact, with a 7.5 per cent decline in shares. The FTSE 100-listed wealth manager experienced a slowdown in net inflows in 2023 as a subdued risk appetite persisted among investors.
Budget airline Wizz Air faced a 5.1 per cent drop after reporting a larger third-quarter operating loss. The airline grappled with the repercussions of engine inspections, grounding parts of its fleet, and the suspension of flights due to the Middle East conflict.
On a more positive note, Elementis witnessed an 8.2 per cent surge following reports by Reuters. According to sources familiar with the matter, KPS Capital Partners explored a potential bid for the UK specialty chemicals maker. Although the exploration has temporarily paused, Elementis has experienced a boost in its stock value.
The dynamic performance of these companies reflects the ongoing challenges and opportunities in the UK equity market, influenced by both global and company-specific factors. Investors are keenly watching for further developments and potential shifts in market sentiment.
(with Reuters inputs)
Published January 25th, 2024 at 15:25 IST