In the second quarter of 2022, London’s stock market indices came down along with everything else though not as much, thanks to a few of the major companies.
We have mentioned big oil before, but this quarter (and year) has also seen strong performance from the big tobacco companies, notably British American Tobacco, and HSBC has also done well. Thankfully, some of the other big, and more ‘investable’ companies such as AstraZeneca, GSK and Unilever have also helped to prop-up the leading indices.
Our chart shows the on-going contrast between the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 (the next 250 ‘mid-size’ companies outside the top 100) indices, further down into smaller companies it has been particularly tough, see chart, right.
Other than the handful of bigger companies mentioned above, it is hard to find many positives, the selling appeared to be quite indiscriminate (though actual poor results were punished). Among the Consumer Discretionary sectors, the retailers saw falls of 30% for B&M European Value Retail, 22% for JD Sports and 12% for Marks & Spencer. Bigger retailers fared a touch better, Kingfisher fell around 4% and Next by just 3%.
Still in that area, the gaming companies have suffered, Entain (Bwin, Coral, Ladbrokes, PartyPoker etc.) sank 24%, Flutter somewhat less. The house-builders, Barratt Development, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey all fell around 12%, they are reporting shortages in materials and labour but no impact on profits at this stage as prices are holding up. The London and Southeast specialist, Berkeley Group, was an exception and essentially unchanged over the quarter.
The Industrials sectors were generally weak, Ashtead Group down by around 30%, Intertek, Rolls-Royce, and Spirax-Sarco Engineering all down around 20%. BAE Systems and Melrose Industries being the two to buck the trend with solid increases. The airlines fell, International Consolidated Airlines (British Airways) by 24% and easyJet by 34%, despite an increase in passenger numbers, which, of course, they are struggling with. The mining companies, after being so strong over the first quarter, came rattling back down again, Anglo American, Antofagasta and Rio Tinto are back to where they started the year.
The Consumer Staples sectors provided some of the bright spots, Unilever and the tobacco companies as mentioned above, along with Reckitt Benckiser, but the food retailers were not good: J Sainsbury fell 20% and Ocado Group by a third after warning that its joint venture with Marks & Spencer is struggling as customers ‘trade down’ but Ocado’s costs rise.
The Financials sectors were mixed, the banks did well, Barclays, NatWest and Standard Chartered all gained modestly, while the insurance companies weakened around 10%. The big money managers all fell sharply, Abrdn, Hargreaves Lansdown and St James Place by around a quarter, M&G and Schroders by a shade less.
The above article has been prepared for investment professionals. Any other readers should note this content does not constitute advice or a solicitation to buy, sell, or hold any investment. We strongly recommend speaking to an investment adviser before taking any action based on the information contained in this article.
Please also note the value of investments and the income you get from them may fall as well as rise, and there is no certainty that you will get back the amount of your original investment. You should also be aware that past performance may not be a reliable guide to future performance.