FTSE 100 movers: Coronavirus fears hit AB Foods, Prudential gains on Third Point talks
The FTSE 100 was in the red in afternoon trading on Tuesday, as investors continued to digest the latest developments around the spreading global outbreak of the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.
Travel and tourism stocks were among the big losers on London’s benchmark index, amid news of further infections in Italy, and that around 1,000 people were now in lockdown in Tenerife after a visiting Italian doctor tested positive for the virus.
Cruise operator Carnival and package holiday giant TUI were both at the bottom end of the bourse.
Coronavirus was also behind the losses for Meggitt, which said the impact of the outbreak, as well as the suspension of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft, would slow revenue growth in 2020.
The aerospace-focused engineer still reported an 11% increase in 2019 profit, but said organic revenue growth would be between 2% and 4% in 2020 because of the production halt to the faulty Boeing model, and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on supply chains and the wider economy.
Supply chain concerns were also emerging for Associated British Foods, which warned that some clothing lines at its fast fashion brand Primark could face shortages later in the year if production capacity remained constrained in China.
On the upside, insurer Prudential was in the green after it said it would hold talks with activist hedge fund Third Point over its demands that it spin off its Asian and US businesses.
Third Point has built a stake worth $2bn in Prudential to become its second largest shareholder and wrote to the UK company on Monday outlining position.
“Prudential proactively engages with shareholders with regards to group strategy and structure, and looks forward to commencing a dialogue with Third Point with regard to the views outlined in its letter,” the insurance giant said on Tuesday.
Bunzl rallied for a second session, after it reported a 1% improvement in its revenue at constant exchange rates in its final results on Monday, to £9.33bn, or 2.7% growth at actual exchange rates.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,030.99 -1.76%
FTSE 100 - Risers
NMC Health (NMC) 882.00p 3.98%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,060.00p 2.95%
Prudential (PRU) 1,426.00p 0.39%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,949.00p 0.32%
Pearson (PSON) 580.60p 0.17%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,701.60p 0.01%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,625.00p -0.04%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,664.00p -0.30%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,092.00p -0.32%
Informa (INF) 752.00p -0.40%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Carnival (CCL) 2,642.00p -5.81%
Meggitt (MGGT) 560.80p -5.65%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 287.90p -4.29%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,441.00p -4.01%
Kingfisher (KGF) 199.75p -3.92%
SSE (SSE) 1,593.00p -3.78%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 805.60p -3.75%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 740.80p -3.49%
BAE Systems (BA.) 638.80p -3.15%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,055.00p -3.07%