StockMarketWire.com - A weak start on Wall Street helped suck some of the momentum out of the FTSE 100 which closed Thursday some way short of intra-day highs, up just 0.2% at 7,030.78.

The S&P 500 was down 0.6% at 4,451.90 by 4.30pm UK time, despite US retail sales beating expectations.

Elsewhere Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems were boosted by the promise of work associated with a new alliance between the US, Australia and UK.

Equipment rental company Ashtead gained 5.8% to £61.92 as it raised its outlook on full-year performance after reporting 'strong' first-quarter results.

The forecast for annual revenue was raised to a range of 13% to 16% from 6% to 9% previously.

E-commerce play THG, also known as The Hut Group, fell 7.2% to 592.6p as it revealed a wider first half loss, currency headwinds and unveiled plans to spin off its beauty division.

Home improvement retailer Wickes gained 1.7% to 236.4p as it said it expected annual adjusted profit at the upper end of expectations after swinging to a first-half profit amid 'buoyant' demand from local trade.

Fashion retailer Superdry reported narrower annual losses as the reopening of stores and cost cuts helped offset a pandemic-led fall in revenue. It advanced 13.7% to 324p.

Miniature wargames maker Games Workshop said that performance for the three months to 29 August 2021 was in line with the board's expectations.

'Sales continue to grow but, as with other businesses, we have seen pressure on freight costs and currency exchange rates,' the company said. This warning spooked investors with the shares flat at £115.90.

Drinks group C&C advanced 2.6% to 231.8p as it said it had returned to profit ahead of plan following the gradual easing of restrictions and phased reopening of the hospitality sector across Ireland and the UK during the first half of the fiscal year.

Food business Hilton Food hiked its dividend even as it reported a fall in first-half profit as higher cost amid supply chain woes offset a jump in revenue. It was up 4.4% to £11.42.

Online trading brokerage IG reported a rise in first-quarter adjusted revenue, as slowing client growth was offset by a boost from the recently-acquired tastytrade. It was up 2.3% to 850.5p.


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