FTSE opens lower as corporate updates and China data disappoint

The FTSE 100 slipped 4.73 points to 7,406.45 in early trading Thursday. The FTSE 250 also dropped 10.04 points to 17,856.30 as the AIM All-Share dipped 0.78 points to 700.90.

The falls follow data showing China’s consumer price index down 0.2% year-on-year in October, highlighting ongoing efforts to boost still lacklustre demand.

Oil majors Shell and BP sank 0.5% and 0.9% respectively. Gambling firm Flutter Entertainment plunged 10% as its outlook disappointed amid favourable sports results for punters.

Flutter now expects full-year US revenue of around £3.75 billion and earnings of £140 million. It sees group revenue at the bottom of its £1.44-£1.6 billion guidance.

Retailer B&M also shed 4.7% as it reported first-half revenue up 10% to £2.55 billion and pretax profit 11% higher at £222 million. It noted trading momentum has accelerated in recent weeks.

In contrast, AstraZeneca climbed 2.9% as the pharmaceutical company lifted guidance on the back of a stronger third quarter. It also announced an obesity drug licensing deal.

Used car website Auto Trader motored 6.8% higher as it posted a 12% jump in first-half revenue to £280.5 million and a 10% rise in pretax profit to £162.8 million.

Among mid-caps, Wizz Air descended 6.3% on Middle East capacity cuts while insurer Lancashire Holdings soared 10% on a $169 million capital return.

Marketing group S4 Capital crashed 8.5% as it cut guidance on extended client sales cycles and technology sector caution. It now sees a 10-11% full-year profit margin.