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Market report: FTSE melancholy as optimism begins to unravel

It’s a slow start for the FTSE this Thursday with all eyes on the Bank of England’s meeting later on today for more signs of further stimulus with both the UK employment sector under pressure as well Brexit issues with further tensions between the UK and EU over the divorce deal. The London markets are also shaking off another disastrous day for tech stocks on WallStreet.

British retailer Next (LON:NXT) has upgraded its profit forecast for the second time this year after reporting more resilient sales than it expected. Although the company still expects full-year sales to fall 12% due to the the end of the government’s furlough scheme and uncertainty over the pandemic.

John Lewis (LON:JLH) has scrapped its bonus for the first time since 1953 after it was hit by lockdown store closures. This comes after posting a £55m loss.

The current market volatility is seemingly an advantage for the spread betting firm IG Group (LON:IGG) which topped the FTSE 250 - with revenues continuing to grow at above 60% in the past quarter as new customers joined and existing ones traded more.

Amongst the small caps Tiziana Life Sciences (LON:TILS, NASDAQ:TLSA) is to conduct a COVID-19 human clinical study in Brazil using what they call a “potentially transformative approach” to modulating the immune system.

Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON:SUPR) has said it is to raise £150mln to take advantage of opportunities that have become available since the onset of coronavirus restrictions.

And finally Spire Healthcare Group PLC (LON:SPI) has announced that its chairman Garry Watts is looking to retire after nearly ten years in his role.

Quick facts: Next PLC

Price: 8036 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £10.55 billion

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