FTSE 100 Live July 19: Record wage squeeze, UK unemployment rate holds steady

Haleon, the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, makes its debut

Haleon’s rocky start to life continued today as shares of GSK’s former consumer healthcare division tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 100.

The Weybridge-based maker of Sensodyne, Panadol and Centrum debuted on Europe’s biggest stock market listing in a decade yesterday, with shares priced at 330p for economic conditions and a valuation below expectations of 30 £.5 billion.

The newcomer dipped below 300p today, down a further 5% or 14.70p to 293.65p after Monday’s lackluster opening day performance.

In addition to the uncertain economic outlook, sentiment was impacted by Haleon’s high initial debt levels and the potential debt overhang from the expiry in November of lock-up agreements on the 45% stakes held by GSK and Pfizer.

Barclays analysts today reflected the City’s caution by starting their coverage with an ‘equal weight’ recommendation and a target of 348p.

Last week, Jefferies highlighted a bullish case in which a management team led by chief executive Brian McNamara is able to bolster revenue as an independent business. But the bank warned that this would be offset by slower growth in the industry.

Economic jitters were fueled last night when Bloomberg reported that iPhone giant Apple intended to slow growth in hiring and spending in anticipation of tough business conditions.

Speculation caused Wall Street to reverse earlier gains, while London’s rebound after two strong sessions also came to an end. The FTSE 100 index fell 15.51 points to 7207.73 and the FTSE 250 fell 7.56 points to 19,007.59.

Several tech-focused stocks were below the caution reported by Apple, including Ocado and Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust after the FTSE 100 index fell 2%.

In contrast, two companies with exposure to US companies rose in share price after better-than-expected updates.

Business information and exhibitions group Informa jumped 4% on underlying revenue growth of more than 40% in the first half of the year.

The FTSE 100-listed company, which rose 23p to 560.2p, also intends to resume dividend payments and forecast full-year profits to top City hopes.

The biggest riser in the FTSE 250 was enterprise commodities firm 4imprint after forecasting 2022 operating profits well ahead of forecasts and said it was increasingly confident of hitting its target of revenue of $1 billion for this year.

Shares jumped 21% or 500p to 2940p but analysts at Liberum now see the potential to hit 4,000p.

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