- London’s blue chip index was trading broadly flat in Friday’s opening session, handing back some initial gains in the first hour of trading.

The FTSE 100 sank below the 7,600.00 mark, trading at 7,594.02 at 0923 hrs, a touch below where it closed on Thursday’s session.

There was no shortage of bad news in the retail sector. Superdry continued its recent torrid performance, with shares falling by more than 16% to 396p in early trading following weak Christmas trading. Elsewhere, fashion brand Joules added to woes in the sector with shares trading down 20% to 179p following a profit warning.

While athleisure retailer JD Sports had issued an upbeat trading statement that its full year performance would now be in the “upper quartile” of current market expectations, investors were unconvinced. JD Sports was trading down around 3% to 804p at the time of writing.

In the aviation sector, Ryanair offered a sprinkle of positivity, raising its full year guidance following stronger-than-anticipated Christmas trading. The company said that forward bookings for January to April were running 1% ahead of the same period last year. The Irish carrier’s share price was trading up 6.8% at €16.27.

There were several succession announcements at the end of the first uninterrupted week of trading for 2020, with packaging group Mondi confirming the scheduled departure of its group CEO Peter Oswald at the end of March. The company’s shares eased back 2.7% in early trading at £16.64as investors responded to the announcement.

Volution Group also announced a change in leadership at the end of March, with Peter Hill stepping down as chairman. Non executive director Paul Hollingworth is to take the helm following Mr Hill’s departure. Volution’s shares traded down 2.13% following the announcement at 230p.

The global economic outlook punctuated trading behaviour in Asian markets during the early hours, with Asian equities having climbed Friday following the easing of tensions between Iran and the United States. Story provided by