Investors unfazed by Autumn Statement

The blue chip index was flat following the Autumn Statement as investors were unimpressed by the UK government’s plans.

Property agents Foxtons (FOXT) suffered a 10% decline, while Countrywide (CWD) and LSL Property Services (LSL) fell by 5% after Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed the government will crack down on letting fees.

Lettings specialist Belvoir Lettings (BLV) also slid 7.6% to 115p.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil slipped 0.2% to $47.92 and Brent crude oil retreated 0.3% to $48.94 per barrel, respectively.

Gold glittered at $1,213 per ounce, while copper climbed 2.3% to $5,732 per tonne.


Utility provider United Utilities (UU.) nudged higher on a slight year-on-year increase in first half operating profit to £312.5m and a 1.1% hike in the dividend.

Property investor Hammerson (HMSO) was flat at 554p following a €587m deal to buy four outlet centres in Europe under its VIA Outlets joint venture.


Travel operator Thomas Cook (TCG) flied into sunnier skies after announcing its first dividend in five years alongside full year results and ‘encouraging’ summer bookings for 2017. Profit after tax more than halved year-on-year to £9m, reflecting pressure from terrorist attacks, but this was in line with guidance.

The first set of results from respiratory drug specialist Vectura (VEC) since its merger with Skyepharma received a positive response. First half revenue was up 183% to £73.9m.

Online trading platform CMC Markets (CMCX) slumped 5% to 193p on a 29% fall in first half pre-tax profit to £18.8m due to lower client activity.


Shares in industrial services firm Brammer (BRAM) shot up 69.5% to 165p on a recommended £221.5m cash offer from AI Robin, a wholly-owned subsidiary of funds managed by Advent International.

Software outfit ServicePower (SVR) soared 58% to 4p after last night’s revelation it would reject an offer from Jonas Computing and was in discussions with Diversis Capital over a 6p cash bid.

Creightons (CRL) jumped 13% as operating profit increased by nearly four-fold from £208,000 in 2015 to £799,000.

Financial services group Tavistock Investments (TAVI) raised up to £2.1m through a shares placing to meet the cash consideration for the acquisition of Price Bailey Financial Services.

Avocet Mining (AVM) delivered bad news to investors. It indicated the verdict from the court concerning whether a seized shipment of gold should be released back to the company was delayed until 19 December.

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