StockMarketWire.com - FTSE still getting a vaccine boost

The FTSE 100 was up 0.7% to 6,340.61 at midday on Wednesday, building on the big gains delivered at the start of the week by positive developments on a Covid-19 vaccine. Aerospace and defence contractor BAE Systems maintained its full year guidance for sales and cash flow in a trading statement this morning, but said it expected underlying earnings to be slightly higher than previously guided thanks to better operational performance and an expected lower tax rate.

Its shares were up 2.4% to 474.9p.

Paddy Power's parent company Flutter Entertainment posted a strong increase in third quarter volumes and raised its full year guidance for operating profits, in part due to the return of mainstream sports.

Flutter's shares were up by 2% to £130.55.

Engineering consultancy Ricardo said it had received new orders worth £105.2 million in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 19% on the same period in 2019.

It also announced plans to raise approximately £7.2 million from a new share issue.

Ricardo's share price fell by 7.7% on the news, to 340.7p.

Alternative asset manager 3i Infrastructure said it was on track to pay an increased full year dividend after posting a 3.8% increase in net asset value total return in the first half.

Despite this, its share price advanced 0.9% to 304.8p.

Retirement home operator McCarthy & Stone reported that it had generated revenues of approximately £197 million in its financial year ending 31 October 2020, down more than 70% on the previous year.

Its shares ticked up 0.3% to reach 116.6p.

Pub chain J D Wetherspoon suffered a 27.6% drop in like-for-like sales in the 15 weeks to 8 November following the introduction of a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants in England.

It forecast a cash burn of £14 million from the new lockdown in England during November.

Wetherspoon shares fell 2% to £10.97.

Coca-Cola HBC saw a strong improvement in trading in the third quarter as markets continued to re-open following local and national lockdowns.

Its share price was down 0.3% to £21.30.

Real estate investment trust Workspace Group made a loss before tax of £110 million in the first half of its financial year, it reported this morning. This compared to a profit of £99 million in the same period in 2019.

Workspace shares dropped by 3.6% to 729p.

The Renewable Infrastructure Group has agreed to acquire a 14.3% indirect equity interest in East Anglia One, a new offshore wind farm that is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 630,000 homes.

Its share price ticked up 0.3% to 134.2p.


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