Mondi (LON:MNDI) is among today’s UK share prices to watch, having surged in London this Tuesday, with investors reacting positively to the company’s trading statement. Equities meanwhile have been in demand as the pound retreated in anticipation of the announcement of Boris Johnson as the UK’s new prime minister.
Mondi rallies while Whitbread extends slide
Mondi is outperforming the market as it said in an unscheduled trading statement that it expects its half-year underlying EBITDA for the half year ended 30 June 2019 to be above that of the comparable prior year period of €852 million. The update comes ahead of the London- and Johannesburg-listed group’s results due out on August 1. Shares in the company have added about 2.7 percent to their value in early afternoon trade, as compared with about a 0.6-percent gain in the benchmark FTSE 100 index.
Whitbread (LON:WTB) is down for a second day, after the Premier Inn owner said yesterday that it has completed its share buyback, and with reports suggesting that the company was targeted by short-sellers. Whitbread’s shares are down by about 3.6 percent.
Standard Life Aberdeen (LON:SLA) is outperforming the market as Sky News revealed last night that the company was set to settle its row with Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) over a dispute related to a £100-billion asset management contract. The bailed-out lender is reportedly set to pay £140 million to Standard Life Aberdeen, while the Edinburgh-based funds house is expected to retain management of roughly £30 billion of assets for three years. Standard Life Aberdeen’s shares are up by more than two percent, while Lloyds’ shares are changing hands about 0.4 percent higher.
FTSE 100 grocers are also among today’s UK share prices to watch as Kantar Worldpanel disclosed that year-on-year supermarket sales had fallen by 0.5 percent in the 12 weeks to July 14, marking the first overall decline in the sector since June 2016.
“On the back of record sales during last year’s hot summer, the tough period was not unexpected,” Kantar said in the statement, adding that “it is anticipated that the market will return to growth once the comparative highs of the 2018 summer pass”. Online grocer Ocado (LON:OCDO) is leading the supermarket sector lower, trading nearly three percent in the red, followed by Tesco (LON:TSCO), whose shares are about 2.3 percent worse off in early afternoon trade.
The London equities market meanwhile is reacting positively to news that Boris Johnson will replace Theresa May as the UK prime minister, having won the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
“Boris to become PM – what does it mean for sterling and UK assets? Not a lot for the now as so much is priced in,” said Neil Wilson of Markets.com, as quoted by Proactive Investors. “We would reiterate that there is a heightened prospect of No Deal under BoJo, yet when faced with the realpolitik of it all, a compromise may well be found.”
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UK share prices to watch on Wednesday
While today has provided little excitement on the corporate front, Wednesday is set to deliver more UK share prices to watch, with a string of London-listed companies including ITV (LON:ITV) and GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) set to update investors on their performance tomorrow.
Proactive Investors reports that ITV’s half-year results look set to receive a boost from its hit reality TV show Love Island which is expected to have lifted audience numbers over the period.
“Advertising trends have been weak since the Brexit vote, with ITV’s advertising revenue down seven percent last quarter, so some positive news would be welcomed,” Hargreaves Lansdown commented, as quoted by the newswire. The update will come after the blue-chip broadcaster announced last week that it had signed an agreement with the BBC to launch their joint streaming service BritBox in the fourth quarter of the year.
Over at GSK (LON:GSK), investors will be looking to see if the company has managed to sustain its strong performance at the start of the year during the second quarter. The Financial Times reports that the company’s top scientist has set out the group’s strategy to double its success rate in finding new drugs, as it seeks to convince investors it can reverse years of underperformance in R&D.
Other UK share prices to watch tomorrow include Marstons (LON:MARS), Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) and Croda (LON:CRDA), Informa (LON:INF) and Antofagasta (LON:ANTO).