Sterling’s retreat combined with a rising oil price to help the FTSE 100 rebound from a four-month low.
But Imperial Brands and British American Tobacco underperformed after RBC advised selling. Lower barriers to entry for next-generation tobacco products mean cigarette makers can no longer rely on benign competition, so their profit margins are likely to plummet over the next few decades, RBC forecast.
A Citigroup downgrade to “sell” put JD Wetherspoon under pressure. Brexit uncertainties and elevated consumer debt levels mean pub and restaurant spending is more likely to get worse than better next year, with the slowdown putting Wetherspoon’s premium rating at risk, Citi said.
Dechra Pharmaceuticals, the veterinary medicines maker, suffered its biggest one-day drop after cautioning that its pricing power may be eroded by consolidation among customers and copycat products from wholesalers.
Management also flagged up Brexit planning costs with full-year results.
Cheese maker Dairy Crest retreated after Kepler Cheuvreux said consensus expectations had not accounted for investments so are too optimistic about near-term free cash flow.