Asos, N Brown and Sports Direct fall ahead of Scottish referendum

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Britain's top share index fell on Tuesday, with financial stocks under performing as investors showed reluctance to buy up new positions before Scotland's independence vote on Thursday. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down by 0.2 percent, at 6,792.24 points.

The fall in major financial stocks weighing on the market was also noticeable. "With the uncertainty around the Scottish election, we're seeing a bit of a risk-off mentality, with investors prepared to sit on cash," said in this regard Dafydd Davies, partner at Charles Hanover Investments.

Along these lines was commentary by IG market analyst David Madden for ‘This is Money’: “The Scots go to the polls on Thursday, and we could have a ‘Black Friday’ on our hands depending on which way the vote goes. Our binary bet is now pricing in a 22 percent chance of Scotland voting ‘Yes’.”

Main casualties among London apparel stocks were Sports Direct International, falling for a second session in a row, down over 3 percent to 667 pence.

Online fashion peer Asos was a big fall, down over 8 percent to 2,211 pence after the e-tailer its third profit warning in the year to date. On Tuesday, Asos also said it did not expect a rebound in profitability in the year to August due to investment costs. The stock has lost 60 percent this year, after more than doubling in 2013.

Third main casualty of the day in London was catalogue retailer N Brown, which trades as JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, fell to 386.1 pence apiece after it reported a 0.6 percent drop in half-year revenues following a re-phasing of its mailing programme. However N Brown assured it is on track for its second half as it continues its “transitional year”.

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