By Barbara Kollmeyer
Big winners, and big losers marked the last day of trading for September and the quarter in London.
DNA/RNA sequencing technology company Oxford Nanopore Technologies saw a strong reception in its first day of trading, but Boohoo shares fell sharply as the retailer proved a reminder of global supply shortages ahead of the holidays.
The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.02% fell 0.4% to 7,082, and was headed for a 0.5% monthly loss, the worst since January 2021, and a 0.6% quarterly rise, the weakest since the September 2020 quarter.
The pound climbed 0.4% to $1.347. Data showed second-quarter U.K. gross domestic product was revised up to 5.5% from a prior estimate of 4.8%.
The best sector across the London Stock Exchange was healthcare and the worst was oil and gas, with shares of BP /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP +4.74% /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +4.27% and Royal Dutch Shell /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A +3.63% /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +3.64% fell over 1% each as oil prices /zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed CL00 -0.43% declined.
The country continues to grapple with petrol and power shortages, with natural gas futures up another 7% to 242.28 pence a therm on Thursday, with similar price rises on continental Europe. Soaring wholesale natural gas prices drove three more smaller U.K. energy providers out of business on Thursday, leaving over 200,000 customers to find a new provider.
On an upbeat note, shares of Oxford Nanopore Technologies surged 43% on their first day of trading. “The company, which is a DNA sequencing company raised £350m at an offer price of 425p, while some of its existing shareholders sold some of their own holdings,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
“The company also supplies rapid Covid-19 tests to the NHS and has partnered with Oracle to explore new solutions that would use genomic sequencing which would run on its cloud infrastructure on a global scale,” he added.
Shares of drinks giant Diageo /zigman2/quotes/208129584/composite DEO -0.91% /zigman2/quotes/205611832/delayed UK:DGE +0.03% rose 2% after an upbeat trading, though said cost pressures were higher, but manageable.
Retailers were in the spotlight, as shares of fast-fashion group Boohoo /zigman2/quotes/205655689/delayed UK:BOO +1.49% tumbled 13% after the company reported soaring revenues, but warned profit margins will fall short of expectations because of supply chain issues, a familiar theme for global markets.
“The negative reaction to today’s update has fed into a broader negative narrative for the entire sector with Next /zigman2/quotes/200704121/delayed UK:NXT +2.31% shares giving up some of yesterday’s gains. ASOS /zigman2/quotes/209092221/delayed UK:ASC +6.01% shares have also come under pressure over similar costs concerns as we look ahead to their full year numbers, which are due in a couple of weeks,” added Hewson.