MARKET REPORT: Shares go stale in food fight at Just Eat and Deliveroo


MARKET REPORT: Shares go stale in food fight at delivery giants Just Eat and Deliveroo amid fresh concerns over working conditions

Investors lost their appetite for shares in Just Eat and Deliveroo as fierce competition and questions over labour issues plagued the two takeaway giants.

Just Eat tumbled after rival Uber announced it would launch in Germany, which would break the FTSE 100 company’s stranglehold on the German market.

Over the next few weeks Uber Eats will start operating in Berlin before potentially moving to other cities. Just Eat – now known as Just Eat Takeaway after its £6billion merger with a Dutch rival last year – has been the main player in Germany since Deliveroo pulled out in 2019.

Just Eat tumbled after rival Uber announced it would launch in Germany, which would break the FTSE 100 company’s stranglehold on the German market

Just Eat tumbled after rival Uber announced it would launch in Germany, which would break the FTSE 100 company’s stranglehold on the German market 

Things got catty over Twitter, with Just Eat boss Jitse Groen accusing Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi of trying to ‘depress’ his company’s share price. Khosrowshahi replied that Groen should ‘pay a little less attention to your short term stock price and more attention to your tech and ops’.

Last week Just Eat said order growth had been strong in Germany in the first three months of the year. Orders across all countries rose 79 per cent to 200m.

The threat to Just Eat’s dominance in a key market shaved 2.7 per cent off its shares, which closed 214p lower at 7716p.

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Stock Watch – Argo Blockchain 

Shares in Argo Blockchain jumped after it signed a deal with a specialist builder to develop its cryptocurrency ‘mining’ hub in Texas.

Navier will consult on the design of the facility, which will be filled with computers that will use algorithms to unlock new bitcoins. This process is called mining.

Navier will receive a monthly fee but will also be able to buy up to 223,821 Argo shares.

Argo rose 26.9 per cent, or 39p, to 184p – and is up more than 460 per cent this year.

Deliveroo’s stock hit its lowest level yet, falling 4 per cent, or 9.8p, to 233p, a whopping 40 per cent below its 390p listing price.

Its float on March 31 has been described as the worst ever on the London Stock Exchange.

As well as its shares being overpriced, it has suffered because of major concerns around its working practices and treatment of its staff. It was a mixed day for the two main indexes, with the FTSE 100 rising 0.5 per cent , or 35.42 points, to 6895.29, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.1 per cent, or 22.82 points, to 22085.73.

It was boosted by Hikma Pharmaceuticals, which climbed 2.8 per cent, or 67p, to 2445p after it resumed the launch of a generic version of a Glaxosmithkline asthma drug in the US.

But business supplier Bunzl slid 3.2 per cent, or 80p, to 2424p. Bunzl specialises in selling products that companies need but do not sell directly on to customers such as toilet rolls and cleaning supplies.

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Turnover grew by 5.4 per cent in the first three months of the year.

But much of this was driven by Covid-related orders for PPE –such as gloves and gowns – which Bunzl warned will start to fall.

Trading platform Plus500 received a lukewarm reception for its first move into the US, rising 0.6 per cent, or 9.5p, to 1505.5p, by buying a group called Cunningham.

Mining giants BHP (up 0.5 per cent, or 11.5p, to 2178.5p) and Antofagasta (flat at 1841p) also failed to make much of an impression with production updates. 

BHP reassured the market by posting a 4 per cent rise in iron ore production during its third quarter, and said it is on track for a strong finish to its financial year.

Copper behemoth Antofagasta, on the other hand, said production and cost performance had been in line with guidance.

On AIM, investors piled into Catena Group after it announced it will move into the artificial intelligence sector.

It has proposed launching a reverse takeover of a company called Insight, which offers niche services to asset managers.

This includes using computer algorithms to study the language companies use when talking about their environmental, social and governance goals, and then evaluating whether or not they are actually following through on their pledges.

Shares in Catena, which will change its name to Insig AI and raise £6.1million to fund the deal, closed 31.4 per cent higher, up by 18.5p, to 77.5p.

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