High-end luxury brand Burberry dropped today after the surprise exit of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Angela Ahrendts and appointment of Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey. Ahrendts is to leave the company in mid-2014 and move to Apple to take up a newly created position. The news came as the company reported 14 per cent growth in underlying sales in the first half, helped by strong demand from Chinese customers, and raised its profit guidance for the period.
Market Strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital said that profit-taking was the cause of today's heavy fall, given that the stock has risen around 30% so far this year. "Investors appear to be worried that Bailey may not be able to replicate the success of Ahrendts," he said.
Having yesterday topped the FTSE 100 leaderboard, today chemicals group Johnson Matthey was firmly in the bottom 10. On Monday the stock was upgraded by JPMorgan Cazenove from 'neutral' to 'overweight'. The US bank hiked its target price for the shares
from 2,800p to 4,000p, saying that it sees "major potential from a swathe of new global industrial capex".
Leading the upside were the miners as risk appetite returned to the market on hopes over a fiscal deal in the US. Rio Tinto led the risers after enjoying a good third quarter of production, having produced and shipped a record level of iron ore thanks to its new infrastructure in Western Australia.
Anglo American was higher despite revealing that a pending regulatory application could restrict access one of its subsidiary's Sishen mine in South Africa.
Sector peers Antofagasta, Fresnillo and BHP Billiton were also making decent gains.
Petrofac was higher after Citigroup labelled it as one of its most preferred stocks among oil services names in the UK ahead of the sector's third-quarter reporting season. Citi said that Petrofac is exposed to defensive energy investments, such as the Middle East, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Integrated Energy Services. The company's backlog is up over 50% year-on-year and the bank sees scope for this to further increase over the next six months.
Hargreaves Lansdown rose after achieving record assets under administration (AuA) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. The financial services company reported AuA of £39.3bn in the three months to September 30th, up 7.9% from the previous quarter's £36.4bn.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,196.00p +3.63%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,405.00p +3.31%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 409.40p +3.15%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,037.00p +2.77%
WPP (WPP) 1,275.00p +2.66%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 889.50p +2.60%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,562.00p +2.53%
Centrica (CNA) 367.70p +2.51%
GKN (GKN) 369.60p +2.50%
Old Mutual (OML) 195.40p +2.30%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,497.00p -5.55%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 993.50p -0.65%
Schroders (SDR) 2,637.00p -0.49%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,973.00p -0.47%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 118.80p -0.42%
Capita (CPI) 1,003.00p -0.40%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,723.00p -0.35%
Carnival (CCL) 2,048.00p -0.34%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,225.00p -0.33%
Diageo (DGE) 1,948.00p -0.28%