FTSE 100 opened sharply lower as China’s tech crisis again added to a mood that was already jittery after Amazon’s share price tumble overnight. London’s blue-chip index slumped back 73 to 7,005.
Amazon was badly out of favour after the online giant disappointed the market with its second quarter numbers and third quarter outlook. Revenues rose by an impressive-looking 27% to US$113bn, but this was at the lower end of both analysts’ and the company’s guidance.
Also disappointing the market was Robinhood, which saw its shares slide 8% on their market debut, despite the trading app developer pricing its initial public offering at the bottom end of the expected range at US$38 a share.
NatWest Group PLC (LSE:NWG) (LSE:NWG) released £605mln of money set aside for bad debts paving the way for a share buyback of up to £750mln and an interim dividend of 3p. Operating profit before tax of £2.50bn in the first half of 2021 represented a sharp turnaround from an operating loss of £770mln in the same period of 2020.
Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson, meanwhile, is suing Disney over lost earnings after her latest blockbuster Black Widow was streamed at the same time as its cinema release. Box office receipts dropped after the first weekend which Ms Johansson is attributing to the film being available on Disney +.
Among the small caps, European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH) expects the recent improvement in the price of lithium to continue after significant gains in the past quarter. The miner is progressing its Cinovec lithium-tin project in the Czech Republic.
KRM22 PLC (AIM:KRM) (LON:KRM) has agreed a contract extension with a customer of its Risk Cockpit product used by firms operating in the capital markets, for operational risk management. Annual revenue will rise to £400,000 a year.
By Katie Pilbeam.