MARKET REPORT: Amazon insurance fears hit Moneysupermarket with shares sliding over 15%


MARKET REPORT: Shares in Moneysupermarket slide more than 15% as the comparison website braces for stiff competition from Amazon

Shares in Moneysupermarket tumbled as the comparison website braced for stiff competition from Amazon in a crowded market. 

The FTSE 250 firm plunged 15.4 per cent, or 32.2p, to 177p as Amazon launched a website to help UK customers find and buy the best home insurance deals. Amazon is also working with insurers to tackle problems customers face when trying to get a quote. 

‘The store will populate customer reviews, star ratings and claims acceptance rates so customers can make more informed decisions,’ it said. 

Shares in Moneysupermarket tumbled as the comparison website braced for stiff competition from Amazon in a crowded market

Companies such as Ageas UK, Co-op and LV will provide quotes on Amazon’s website, with more to be added next year. The slump in Moneysupermarket shares came a day after it hailed its role in helping customers make savings as they shop around to find the best deals. 

It now expects profit for the year to be at the top end of its range of between £108.5m and £115.5m following strong trading in the three months to the end of September. The FTSE 100 was down 0.17 per cent, or 11.75 points to 6924.99 and the FTSE 250 fell 1.61 per cent, or 281.76 points, to 17,247.55. 

After inflation hit a 40-year high of 10.1 per cent in September as food prices soared, Liberum warned it could rise to 10.4 per cent this month, while Capital Economics expects it to peak around 11 per cent in April. 

‘With many consumers, households and businesses feeling the burn of higher borrowing costs, a cold shock is set to be incoming,’ said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter. 

Stocks in Kingfisher , the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, fell 5.9 per cent, or 12.7p, to 203p

Stocks in Kingfisher , the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, fell 5.9 per cent, or 12.7p, to 203p

‘As they ramp down non-essential spending it is set to freeze off growth in the economy, which should help bring down inflation as demand for goods and services lowers.’ 

That was a blow for retail stocks as the online grocer Ocado tumbled 0.4 per cent, or 2.1p, to 478p, while Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, fell 5.9 per cent, or 12.7p, to 203p and discount retailer B&M slipped 3.4 per cent, or 10.7p to 308.4p. 

STOCK WATCH: IOG

Investors in IOG were left spooked after the North Sea oil and gas firm slashed production forecasts. It now expects to produce around 22m to 28m cubic feet of gas per day for the second half of the year. A previous estimate was 30m to 50m. And it has suspended operations at a well, warning that drilling was ‘very challenging’. The Saturn Banks project it runs with CalEnergy Resources will be suspended later this month for four weeks. Shares fell 57.2 per cent, or 10.7p, to 8p. ■ 

In a dire warning, British Retail Consortium boss Helen Dickinson said the industry can ‘only shoulder so much’. Mining giant Antofagasta slid 2.1 per cent, or 23p, to 1085.5p after missing key copper targets. 

It produced 181,900 tons in the three months to September – less than the 189,000 analysts expected. It has produced 450,600 tons this year and expects this figure to be at the lower end of guidance of between 640,000 and 660,000 tons at the end of December. 

For 2023, the full-year target of between 670,000 and 710,000 tons fell short of analyst estimates of 746,000 tons. Mid-cap housebuilder Vistry slipped 0.7 per cent, or 4p, to 560.5p even though a company connected to its boss Greg Fitzgerald snapped up almost £2.8m of shares. 

The outgoing boss of wealth manager Quilter insisted it was ‘well-positioned’ to deal with the economic turmoil. The comments from Paul Feeney, who will be replaced by Steven Levin on November 1, came as assets under management and administration of £96.9bn for the three months to September were 2 per cent lower than at the end of June. It slid 6.6 per cent, or 6.12p, to 87.12p. 

Ahead of last night’s vote on a debate over fracking – which the Government eventually won – shares in Igas Energy fell 4.2 per cent, or 1.6p, to 36.4p.’ 

And business recovery firm Begbies Traynor revealed firms in ‘critical financial distress’ rose by a quarter in the three months to September compared with a year earlier. As the cost of living crisis bites, bars and restaurants in financial distress soared 48 per cent. Begbies Traynor shares fell 0.9 per cent, or 1.2p, to 128.8p. 

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