Market Report: Wildean misfortune ups pressure on HMV

HMV's long-suffering shareholders received another slap in the face yesterday as the entertainment retailer's finance director said he would follow the chief executive out of the door.

The group's shares tumbled by 0.13p, or 3.6 per cent, to 3.5p as HMV said David Wolffe would leave the group once a successor had been found – just days after the retailer announced the departure of its chief executive, Simon Fox.

The announcement was enough to prompt the latest allusion to Oscar Wilde and carelessness.

Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert said: "Adapting the famous quote from The Importance of Being Earnest, 'To lose one senior director may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness,"

In short, this latest departure "is likely to result in speculation that trading remains under pressure and that the business may not return to profit in 2013", Ms Calvert concluded.

On the up side of the stock market, yesterday was a big day for takeover rumours, with deal speculation fuelling a series of hefty price moves.

Marketing services group Creston saw its shares rise by 5.63p, or 8 per cent, to close at 75.62p after the French advertising giant Havas declared it had amassed a 5.18 per cent stake in the business – prompting speculation that it could be the subject of a bidding war.

Meanwhile, a trio of struggling UK household names saw their shares jump after each became the subject of takeover speculation at the weekend.

The biggest of these was the beleaguered sports retailer JJB Sports, which initially soared by as much as 7 per cent on the back of reports that Invesco, the owner of more than a third of its shares, was plotting to seize and restructure the group. However, things later calmed down a bit, with the stock ending the day 0.1p, or 1.7 per cent, higher at 5.62p.

Marks & Spencer notched up a chunky share price rise – up 6.6p to 347.7p – after reports that a number of leading institutions were looking at the high street institution as a potential £6bn bid target. The retailer's shares have slipped almost 50 per cent since late 2007.

Meanwhile shares in RBS rose 12.8p, or 6 per cent, to 228.8p, suggesting investors give some credence to reports that Brazil's Itau Unibanco is plotting a takeover of its Citizens retail bank in the US. Citizens has about 1,500 branches in 12 states and analysts say the business could fetch £10bn.

Apart from those three, the FTSE 100 was fairly subdued yesterday as investors paused for breath after Friday's jump on the back of strong US jobs data.

The blue-chip index kicked off the week on a positive note, rising by 21.4 points to end the day at 5808.77, with growth easing off after a buoyant 2.2 per cent rise on Friday.

Energy related companies were among the biggest fallers, as Deutsche Bank cut its price target and share recommendations on Centrica and SSE, amid concerns that weakness in the global economy could reduce the price of the oil and gas they produce.

Shares in Centrica, which has a significant gas production operation in the North Sea, fell by 2.9p to 320.6p as Deutsche cut its recommendation on the Big Six energy supplier from "buy" to "hold". SSE fell 13p to 1315p as Deutsche reduced its price target on the company formerly known as Scottish & Southern, and cut its recommendation from "buy" to "hold".

International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, reversed its recent descent, with shares rising by 1.1p to 149.5p, following a decline of 5.2 per cent on Friday after the announcement of a disappointing first-half loss.

In the FTSE 250, shares in TeleCity were among the biggest risers, climbing 39.0p to 877.5p as the web hosting group made good on its promise to declare a maiden dividend, dishing out 2.5p to shareholders for the first six months of the year.

The group said demand for its data centre infrastructure and services continued to show strong growth on the back of the ever-increasing popularity of the internet. This allowed it to collect £137.3m of revenues in the first half, up 22.4 per cent on the year before, pushing profit before tax for the period up by 18 per cent to £40.1m.

FTSE 100 Risers

Randgold Resources 5960p (up 165.0p, 2.8 per cent) The gold miner benefited handsomely as shareholders celebrated the official opening of its Gounkoto gold mine in Mali.

Anglo American (1926p (up 25.5p, or 1.3 per cent) So strong was sentiment towards the miners yesterday – after a tough few weeks – that Anglo's shares were able to shake off a price target cut by Absa Capital and still post a rise.

FTSE 100 Fallers

Bae Systems 311.2p (down 3.5p, or 1.1 per cent) The aerospace giant suffered after Deutsche Bank cut its price target on the group from 350p to 340p.

Johnson Matthey 2209p (down 79.0p, or 3.5 per cent) The metals and speciality chemicals producer fell amid concerns about the outlook for the global economy.

FTSE 250 Risers

WS Atkins 686p (up 18.0p, or 2.7 per cent) The group jumped after news that Network Rail has awarded it two major signalling contracts covering 192 miles of South Wales.

Avocet 91.25p (up 6.55p, or 7.8 per cent) Shares in the miner were given a boost by the news that chief executive David Cather had splashed out on 50,000 shares in the company.

FTSE 250 Fallers

Easyjet 570p (down 2.5p, or 0.4 per cent) The low-cost operator fell despite posting an 8 per cent rise in passengers for the month of July to 5.86m as concerns about its outlook lingered following last week's announcement that first-quarter profit slumped by 29 per cent.

Greggs 505p (down 4.5p, or 0.9 per cent) Shares in Britain's beloved bakery fell amid concerns about employment prospects among its customers as the economy faces continuing strain.

world cup 2014
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Financial Accountant-IFRS-Gloucester-£300/day

£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...

SharePoint/C# Developer - Aberdeen - Circa £40K + benefits

£30000 - £40000 per annum + excellent benefits: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited:...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

HR Advisor - 6 months FTC Wimbledon, SW London

£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil