The FTSE 100 closed down 0.08 per cent at 7,401.46 Friday, after a dramatic week on the markets which saw Dixons Carphone, Provident Financial and WPP all take big tumbles.
Provident was the first to fall, when its stock dropped by a whopping 72 per cent at one point on Tuesday. The Neil Woodford-backed firm sent investors into a frenzy after unveiling a profit warning and announcing the departure of chief exec Peter Crook.
The FTSE-listed doorstep lender’s turbulent Tuesday had a knock on effect on some of the City’s biggest asset managers, with Woodford’s eponymous fund, Invesco and BlackRock among Provident’s major shareholders.
However, the group recovered slightly over the past few days, and analysts at Shore Capital today noted: “While there remains significant uncertainty as to the near-term outlook, we believe that the group remains viable and that the share price fall is materially overdone.”
Provident finished Friday up more than 20 per cent after announcing a shakeup of its consumer credit business’ management.
Advertising giant WPP was Wednesday’s biggest FTSE 100 faller, with shares dropping almost 11 per cent after revealing a dip in like-for-like sales during the first half.
And yesterday saw Dixons Carphone step into the spotlight, as its stock plunged by 30 per cent on a profit warning. Analysts blamed Brexit for the profit problems – experts warned the banning of EU roaming charges would have a £40m impact on the phone company.
Meanwhile, the pound rose by more than 0.6 per cent against the dollar this afternoon, to $1.2881, after a speech by Fed chief Janet Yellen in which she warned against forgetting the lessons of the last financial crisis.
Frontpage December 27, 2019