FTSE 100 Live: BP profits top £7 billion in Q3, Dow Jones up 14% in October

LIVE – Updated at 13:55

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BP is the latest oil major to report huge profits after revealing a quarterly surplus of $8.2 billion (£7.1 billion), driven by a surge in prices.

Shell and US-listed ExxonMobil and Chevron have already announced bumper profits, leading to calls for additional windfall taxes.

Stock markets, meanwhile, are starting the new month focused on tomorrow’s interest rates decision by the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England on Thursday. Last night, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its best month since 1976 after a 14% rise.

FTSE 100 Live Tuesday

  • BP reports £7.1bn profit, extends buybacks
  • Nationwide reports house price fall
  • Made.com appoints administrators

New York stocks make a positive start into two-day Fed rate meeting

13:54 , Michael Hunter

Wall Street’s S&P 500 rose in opening trade, with attention turning to Washington, with the Federal Reserve due to start a two-day monetary policy meeting.

Hopes that the central bank could discuss easing the pace of its rate hikes amid signs that its fight against inflation was starting to kick in helped sentiment in early New York trade. Analysts were leaning toward predictions of a 0.75% rise at the end of the meeting on Wednesday, with expectations of a full 1% rise easing back.

The broad stock index was up 0.5% at 3891.0, a rise of around 19 points.

Ocado leads FTSE gains: Lunchtime update

13:07 , Simon Hunt

Five hours into today’s trading session, here’s a look at the biggest movers on the FTSE 100.

In truth there’s only one big mover in town: Ocado. The retail technology firm has announced a multi-year partnership to build distribution centres for one of the biggest retail conglomerates in South Korea. That’s sent its stock up a whopping 33%.

Playtech’s CFO to step down as deputy takes on the role

12:23 , Simon Hunt

The chief financial officer of Playtech is leaving the London-listed gambling software provider by mutual consent.Andrew Smith will be succeeded by his deputy, Chris McGinnis, and will step down from the FTSE 250 company on November 28, having been in the job since 2017. Playtech said the departure was for “personal reasons”.

Playtech’s software is behind over 600 online casino games run and it also runs sports betting platforms and financial trading programs as well as online bingo. Its clients include the FTSE 100 bookmaker Entain, for which it runs the live gameshow Well Well Well which features in Ladbrokes betting shops. It also helped develop the Coral Sports Area in-play betting format.

Established in Estonia in late 1999, Playtech listed on London’s AIM market for smaller companies in 2006.

Brian Mattingley, chairman of Playtech, said: “Andy has played a crucial role, helping to steer the business through the pandemic … and leading the recent successful refinancing of Playtech’s external debt in light of the upcoming bond maturity.”

FTSE 100 above 7200, Ocado shares jump

10:27 , Graeme Evans

A spectacular performance by Ocado shares today led a blue-chip resurgence as London’s FTSE 100 index traded above 7200 for the first time in over a month.

The grocery technology stock has been on the ropes this year but surged back by a third thanks to a confidence-boosting partnership with South Korea’s Lotte.

The deal involves a network of six customer fulfilment centres for Lotte’s online retail operation, bringing one of the largest conglomerates in Korea to a list of Ocado clients that already includes America’s Kroger and Casino in France.

Analysts at UBS said: “We have consistently talked about the lack of new customer contracts being signed by Ocado as a key concern for us and investors.

“This deal, in one of the more advanced ecommerce markets, is a positive for Ocado and increases confidence in the technology.”

UBS has a price target of 950p, which compares with 625p seen today after shares jumped 153p. The sudden improvement still only takes Ocado back to where it was in mid-September, having fallen by more than two-thirds this year.

Sentiment has been hit by the impact of rising bond yields on valuations across the technology sector, adding to ongoing frustration at the company’s delayed profits outlook.

Ocado was the clear frontrunner in a session when the FTSE 100 rose as far as 7,212, before settling 103.59 points higher at 7198.12.

The mood was helped by reports that China has set up a committee to look at ways to exit its zero-Covid policy.

Beneficiaries in London included the mining giants Glencore and Anglo American after gains of more than 4%, while Asia-focused insurer Prudential cheered 4% or 35.4p to 846.2p.

The strong start to the month also reflects speculation that central banks might soon ease back on rapid interest rate rises. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average last night completed its best month since 1976 with a 14% rise as investors returned to assets following a bruising third quarter.

Other big risers in London today included transatlantic retailer JD Sports Fashion, which improved 5% or 4.5p to 101.9p.

The FTSE 250 index surged 1.6%, up 294.25 points to 18,184.12, with pubs chain Mitchells & Butlers and Marks & Spencer up 9% and 5% respectively. Ferrexpo, the Ukraine-based supplier of iron ore pellets to the steel industry, rose 1.3p to 103.4p after it announced the partial resumption of production activities.

China-focused stocks lift FTSE 100, Ocado up 19%

08:47 , Graeme Evans

Reports that China is looking at ways to exit its zero-Covid policy helped boost London-listed stocks, with mining giants including Glencore up 4% and Asia-focused insurer Prudential 5% stronger.

The FTSE 100 index rose 96 points to 7190.64, led by a 19% jump for grocery technology business Ocado after it announced a partnership with South Korean retail group Lotte to build its customer fulfilment network. Shares were 89.6p higher at 562p.

The shortened fallers board was topped by Rentokil Initial, which dropped 11p to 533.4p in the wake of its latest trading update. Oil giant BP fell back 2.95p to 476.85p, although its shares are significantly higher over the year.

The FTSE 250 index surged 1.3%, up 234.36 points to 18,124.29. Ferrexpo, the Ukraine-based supplier of iron ore pellets to the steel industry, rose 3.8p to 105.9p after it announced the partial resumption of production activities.

UK house prices fall for the first time since July 2021

08:16 , Rhiannon Curry

UK house prices recorded their first monthly fall since July 2021 last month after the market was hit by turmoil during Prime Minister Liz Truss’s short-lived premiership.

The latest House Price Index from lender Nationwide showed annual house price growth slowed to 7.2% in October, down from 9.5% in September.

Prices fell 0.9% month-on-month – the first monthly decline since July last year and the largest fall since June 2020.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said: “The market has undoubtedly been impacted by the turmoil following the mini-Budget, which led to a sharp rise in market interest rates.

“Higher borrowing costs have added to stretched housing affordability at a time when household finances are already under pressure from high inflation.”

Made.com appoints administrators

07:53 , Simon Hunt

Made.com is to appoint administrators after the online furniture retailer failed to find a buyer to rescue the company.

In recent months, the firm warned it was considering cuts to staffing numbers and would need £70 million in funding to secure its future.

Last week, Made said attempts to find a buyer had been unsuccessful. The company said: “Following further discussion, those parties have all now confirmed to the Company that they are unable to meet the necessary timetable. As a result, those discussions have been terminated and the Company is no longer in receipt of funding proposals or possible offers.”

The group said PwC would still seek to secure a sale of the firm, given that it received proposals from interested suitors during the aborted month-long sale process, but added that there is no certainty a deal can be reached.

The retailer’s shares have been suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange. Shares in the business had tumbled 99% since the start of the year.

Stock markets rally in October, FTSE 100 seen higher

07:51 , Graeme Evans

October proved to be a much stronger month for financial markets, driven by speculation that central banks might soon ease back on rapid interest rate rises.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way, jumping 14% during its best month since 1976 as investors returned to assets following a bruising third quarter.

The S&P 500 index rose 8% and the Nasdaq Composite by 4%, with London’s FTSE 100 index up by a more modest 3%.

Deutsche Bank noted that 25 out of the 38 non-currency assets in its coverage were in positive territory in October, the second-best month so far in 2022.

However, it also reported that gold prices declined for a seventh consecutive month for the first time since 1869. The run of declines has occurred as real yields have risen sharply, diminishing the appeal of a non-interest bearing asset.

In the session first of November, CMC Markets expects the FTSE 100 index to open 51 points higher at 7145.

BP profits hit £7.1 billion in Q3, buyback extended

07:35 , Graeme Evans

BP’s replacement cost profit amounted to $8.2 billion (£7.1 billion) for the quarter to 30 September, more than double the previous year after a surge in oil prices.

However, the figure was lower than the $8.5 billion (£7.4 billion) reported for the second quarter due to weaker refining margins and the softening in prices from levels earlier in the year.

The company intends to carry out a $2.5 billion (£2.2 billion) share buyback prior to announcing its fourth quarter results, bringing the total from 2022 surplus cash flow to $8.5 billion (£7.4 billion).

Chief executive Bernard Looney said: “This quarter’s results reflect us continuing to perform while transforming. We remain focused on helping to solve the energy trilemma – secure, affordable and lower carbon energy.

“We are providing the oil and gas the world needs today – while at the same time – investing to accelerate the energy transition.”

Ocado partners with South Korean retail conglomerate to build customer fulfilment network

07:34 , Simon Hunt

Ocado has partnered with South Korean retail group Lotte to build its customer fulfilment network.

The deal will see the firm develop a network of six customer fulfilment centres to develop the firm’s online retail offering.

Lotte Group is one of the largest business conglomerates in South Korea with annual revenue of £45 billion.

Ocado may be hoping the deal will reverse its fortunes — the stock is down 70% since the start of the year.

BP expects to pay windfall tax after posting massive profits for July to September
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