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MARKET REPORT: Publishing giant Future rises

MARKET REPORT: Publishing giant Future rises after bucking the gloomy trend in the market to deliver a positive trading update

Publishing giant Future rose after bucking the gloomy trend in the market to deliver a positive trading update. 

The FTSE 250 firm, which owns magazine titles such as Country Life and Marie Claire, reported ‘encouraging’ trading continued into the second half of the year. 

It noted that its business model covering a diverse selection of titles had shown ‘resilience’ by appealing to a wide range of audiences and providing multiple revenue streams. 

Bucking the trend: Future owns magazine titles such as Country Life and Marie Claire

As a result, it was ‘on track’ to achieve its full-year guidance. The update came as it completed its purchase of women’s lifestyle publisher Who What Wear, which focuses on fashion news as well as celebrity style guides and trends. The price was not disclosed. 

‘I’m delighted that we have completed the acquisition of Who What Wear, as we aim to reach one in two users online in the US,’ said Future boss Zillah Byng-Thorne. 

Shares jumped 5 per cent, or 78p, to 1629p. The FTSE 100 was hoping to end the week on a high following days of turmoil for global financial markets. 

But it closed down 0.4 per cent or 28.73 points at 7016.25, ending the week with a loss of 4.1 per cent. 

It was dragged down by major oil stocks as the price of Brent crude dropped nearly 6pc to around $113 a barrel amid concerns a global recession will hit energy demand. BP was down 6.2 per cent or 24.95p to 379.45p while Shell dropped 4.7 per cent, or 100p, to 2044p and Harbour Energy slipped 4.6 per cent, or 16.7p, to 347p. 

The FTSE 250 fared better, rising 1.1 per cent, or 198.43 points, to 18,925.91 but ended the week 3.8 per cent lower. Retail stocks regained some lost ground after a drubbing on Thursday. Ocado gained 5.5 per cent, or 43.6p, to 831p while Next added 3 per cent, or 172p, to 5936p.

JD Sports rose 3.5 per cent, or 3.55p, to 106.45p, Primark owner AB Foods jumped 0.8 per cent, or 13p, to 1608.5p and DIY retailer Kingfisher climbed 1.3 per cent, or 3p, to 240.9p. 

Tech-focused firms mounted a recovery after fears of inflation and rising interest rates poured cold water on growth prospects. 

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which counts US tech giants Tesla and Amazon among its biggest holdings, rose 3.2 per cent, or 21.4p, to 692p amid bargain hunting activity. 

Online clothing giant Boohoo also rebounded following sharp sell-offs the previous day amid a gloomy trading update. It rose 12.7 per cent, or 7.34p, at 64.96p. 

However, analysts warned the positivity was likely to be short-lived as global storm clouds gather. ‘There is unlikely to be sustained relief from the sinking feeling that has hit financial markets this week, as worries rise that countries won’t avoid falling into the economic pit of recession,’ said Susannah Streeter at Hargreaves Lansdown. 

‘The book hasn’t yet closed on the Covid horror story. China is still imposing lockdowns on districts to curtail the spread of the virus and companies are bracing for fresh supply chain issues.’ 

Asos ascended 12.8 per cent, or 100p, to 883.5p after several directors snapped up shares following a plunge in the price. Chairman Ian Dyson bought 6,000 shares for £49,620 while non-executive director Jorgen Lindemann purchased 57,392 for £490,127. 

Another non-executive, Patrick Kennedy, acquired 30,000 for around £242,700. 

Meanwhile Enquest, the midsize oil and gas firm focused on the North Sea, said chairman Martin Houston would step down to pursue other business interests after nearly three years in the role. The timing of his departure will be confirmed once a successor has been appointed. Its stock dipped 6.6 per cent, or 1.8p, to 25.65p.

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