Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register to get unlimited access to all of Citywire’s Fund Manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Next's special dividend cheers 30 year old FTSE

Next's special dividend cheers 30 year old FTSE

Shares in Next (NXT.L) shot higher in otherwise subdued trading on the FTSE 100 as the high street retailer reported bumper Christmas sales and a special dividend.

The 9% rise in Next shares to £60.60 came after the group reported an 11.9% rise in Christmas sales, upped its profit forecast and announced a special dividend of 50p per share.

Analysts at Cantor upgraded the stock to a ‘buy’ rating. ‘The stock, in our view, is well supported by its superior returns, prospects and the strength of its on-line business when one considers the valuation the market puts on pure play retailers’, commented analyst Freddie George.

Overall though Britain's FTSE 100 was little moved on its thirtieth birthday and the second day of trading of the New Year.

A 0.1% rise to 6,724 at least reverses some of yesterday's loss of nearly 0.5% on the UK's blue chip index. Last year, the FTSE managed a gain of 14%, and while market commentators expect shares to grind higher in 2014, they don't expect those gains to be matched.

There is little economic data due today, and no major company announcements, while many market participants remain on holiday.

There was however more disappointing economic data from China, with the country’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector showing a drop to a four-month low of 54.6 in December from 56 in November. That follows the decline shown in an equivalent report published yesterday on China's manufacturing sector.

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is due to speak at the American Economic Association annual meeting, but he is unlikely to provide any market moving statements ahead of his departure from the Bank at the end of the month.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play JPM’s Negyal: Back divis to temper EM volatility

JPM’s Negyal: Back divis to temper EM volatility

Omar Negyal, co-manager of the JPMorgan Global Emerging Markets Income trust, says a dividend approach to emerging markets reduces the volatility of investing in the asset class.

Play WMR: Why Russia will lose this war

WMR: Why Russia will lose this war

Author and journalist Adam Lebor believes a perfect storm is brewing when it comes to the Russian economy. .

Play WMR: Gerard Lyons warns Asia is the real risk, not Russia & Ukraine

WMR: Gerard Lyons warns Asia is the real risk, not Russia & Ukraine

Chief economic adviser to London mayor Boris Johnson outlines the geo-political risks in Asia and explains why the risk of another eurozone crisis must not be underestimated.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: The adviser that tempted Robin Minter-Kemp on board

Profile: The adviser that tempted Robin Minter-Kemp on board

It is rare to meet an impassioned individual who is willing to bang the drum for investment advisory right now

Wealth Manager on Twitter