MARKETS LIVE: London shares flat amid strong of corporate earnings and Dixons Carphone Spanish sale

London shares made another flat start following a positive US close and a mixed showing in Asia overnight.

Traders are preparing for the start of US earnings season but have been left unimpressed by an unconvincing testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that leaves markets guessing about the timing of the next US rate hike and its balance sheet unwind.

FTSE corporate news this session includes Dixons Carphone selling its Spanish unit for €55million, while the recruiter Hays has reported operating profits just above expectations which may allow it consider a dividend hike.

London shares made another flat start following a positive US close and a mixed showing in Asia overnight


Recruiter Hays expects to marginally beat a full-year operating forecast of £209.5million, after posting higher quarterly net fees helped by growth in continental Europe and the Asia Pacific.

Emerging markets asset manager Ashmore reported a 5 per cent jump in fourth-quarter assets on thanks to a positive investment performance and net inflows.

Total assets under management rose to $58.7billion, with net inflows of $1.2billion and a positive investment performance of $1.6billion.


Construction company Carillion said it had appointed HSBC Bank Plc as joint financial adviser and joint corporate broker with immediate effect.

The move has boosted its share price by 12 per cent.

Analysts have raised concerns that Carillion will have to undertake a right issue, after it booked on Monday a £845million writedown against customer payments it no longer expected to be able to collect.

The builder and support services firm has seen its market value fall by 70 per cent since a profit warning and the exit of its boss on Monday.

Its bondholders have braced for ‘painful’ talks as a pile-up of receivables and debt spooked investors.


Dixons Carphone has sold its Spanish business for €55million.

The company, which bills itself as Europe’s leading specialist electrical and telecoms retailer, said it will sell The Phone House of Spain, as well as its Connected World Services Europe and Smarthouse divisions, to Global Dominion Access, a tech services company based in Bilbao.

Shares are down 1 per cent.

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