Sectors movers: Construction climbs, pubs leak lower
The construction and materials sector built up strong gains on Wednesday, while pub and software companies were going the other way.
Balfour Beatty, Costain, Kier and Galliford Try were among the winners of regional lots under six-year framework contracts from Highways England, designing and constructing motorway and major A-road projects across the country.
Balfour secured its place on lots in the South East and North with a potential combined value of £3.1bn and an initial value of £425m; Costain was appointed as partner in the North and East, which it said could be worth in excess of £1.5bn; Kier expects to receive around £2bn; and Galliford Try picked up schemes valued at £800m.
Pub groups were dragged down after JD Wetherspoon warned that rising wage costs will hit full year results profits. Chairman Tim Martin said: "Unemployment is at a record low, putting upward pressure on wages. As a result, Wetherspoon is increasing pay of our staff starting from this week. It is difficult to be too precise at this early stage of the current financial year, but we now expect a trading outcome slightly below that achieved in the previous financial year."
Spoons tumbled 14% and also brought down rivals Greene King, Mitchells & Butlers and EI Group.
The software sector was booted lower after security specialist Sophos reported first-half revenues that fell short of analysts' expectations and the company warned that billings and future growth would only improve by a "modest" amount compared to the first half.
JPMorgan Cazenove downgraded its rating on the company as it read the new billings growth guidance as meaning 5% or lower, whereas the consensus forecast was for 12%, while the significant improvement for 2020 "leaves a wide range for interpretation", with analysts pencilling in 10% compared to the previous consensus of 16%.
Rival Avast was down slightly, while broader software sector peers Computercenter, Aveva and Softcat were also in the red, while more internationally focused Micro Focus and Sage were carried higher along with Wednesday's tech rally on Wall Street.
Top performing sectors so far today
Construction & Materials 5,540.17 +2.99%
Automobiles & Parts 8,451.97 +2.45%
Food Producers & Processors 7,446.66 +2.37%
Health Care Equipment & Services 7,224.69 +2.22%
Tobacco 39,000.93 +2.00%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Leisure Goods 7,819.24 -2.49%
Software & Computer Services 1,657.35 -1.87%
Fixed Line Telecommunications 2,884.23 -0.64%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,557.00p 3.94%
NMC Health (NMC) 3,486.00p 3.87%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 173.90p 3.82%
Fresnillo (FRES) 902.60p 3.63%
CRH (CRH) 2,306.00p 3.08%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,942.50p 3.05%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 629.40p 3.01%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 492.80p 2.71%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,900.50p 2.51%
BAE Systems (BA.) 533.20p 2.34%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
ITV (ITV) 149.65p -2.98%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 297.30p -1.72%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 317.80p -1.52%
Royal Mail (RMG) 348.20p -1.36%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 882.00p -1.07%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,250.00p -1.01%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 381.30p -0.99%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,519.50p -0.85%
BT Group (BT.A) 249.05p -0.78%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,240.00p -0.61%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,891.00p 8.40%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 678.00p 5.36%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 952.00p 3.87%
Card Factory (CARD) 191.82p 3.46%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 540.50p 3.15%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 379.40p 3.10%
Indivior (INDV) 214.70p 3.07%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 210.20p 3.04%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,428.00p 3.03%
Just Group (JUST) 90.10p 2.97%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Sophos Group (SOPH) 325.60p -28.69%
G4S (GFS) 179.10p -17.24%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 1,124.00p -14.26%
Contour Global (GLO) 176.80p -4.54%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 310.60p -3.90%
William Hill (WMH) 194.05p -3.31%
NewRiver REIT (NRR) 242.50p -3.00%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 106.32p -2.83%
Redrow (RDW) 549.00p -2.83%
Amigo Holdings (AMGO) 242.85p -2.80%