Category Market News

London stocks mixed, FTSE weighed down by Ashtead

London stocks muted on Monday ahead of UK budget and US Fed minutes later this week.
Mark Rogers

Mark Rogers

The FTSE 100 index opened down 25.58 points, 0.3%, at 7,478.67 this morning, while the FTSE 250 was up 5.81 points at 18,573.68, as London stocks made few moves in anticipation of major economic announcements this week.

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Ashtead Group plunged 12% after the equipment rental firm cut its full-year guidance, citing slower hurricane clean-up activity and ongoing Hollywood strikes dragging on growth. It now expects 2-3% lower EBITDA versus prior views.

On the upside, Diploma jumped 9% after the recent FTSE 100 promotion reported double-digit revenue and profit growth in its last financial year, beating forecasts. It expects further growth ahead albeit at stronger margins.

On AIM, MusicMagpie surged 30% confirming early talks over a possible takeover from BT, Aurelius and others, though no formal offer has been made yet.

But Velocys sank 53% as it revealed a discounted all-cash takeover bid from a private equity consortium. The 0.25p per share offer is a 63% discount but would provide crucial new funding for the struggling sustainable fuels firm.

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