There was divergence in the markets at the start of the new trading week, with Asia mostly up and Europe all in the red.
The FTSE 100 slipped 0.3% to 7,399 as strength among telecoms and energy stocks was offset by weakness in industrials, consumer companies and utilities.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given a return of Covid problems, China’s economic activity took a hit in April as retail sales and industrial production went through a bad patch.
Investors don’t care that sofa seller Made.com is outperforming the market given the whole sector is experiencing a sharp decline in trading thanks to the cost-of-living crisis. As far as investors are concerned, Made.com’s earnings expectations have been sharply downgraded which means the stock is far less appealing to own, hence the big share price slump on the news.
“Big ticket items are the first things consumers will delay when the going gets tough, as the idea of shelling out £1,000 or more on a sofa seems excessive when the cost of energy, food, drink and more is racing ahead. Households will have to make their current sofa last a bit longer, and the same applies to other expensive purchases such as electronic goods unless they’re broken and desperately need replacing,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“Made.com’s profit warning coincides with the appointment of new finance boss Patrick Lewis who now has the perfect excuse to have a good look through the cupboards and further reset expectations once he starts next month.
“Another stock taking a big hit on the UK market was patent translation expert RWS, which dived 19% after the collapse of takeover talks. RWS couldn’t be happier judging by the tone of its response to the news. It has a plan to grow and seemingly would rather do this on its own than as part of a private equity empire.”