Weekly review

Josh White WebFG News | 20 Oct, 2017 17:16 - Updated: 17:16 | | |

The FTSE 100 finished the week down 15.93 points, or 0.21%, at 7,523.23.

Equity view

Serco said on Friday that its chief operating officer, Ed Casey, is heading back home to the US to take up a role with another company.

A day after a deal was struck to try and resolve its exports and tax dispute with the Tanzanian government, Acacia Mining reported revenue down 40% for the third quarter and a much diminished cash balance.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals got off to a solid start across the board, the specialist veterinary medicines group said ahead of its annual shareholder meeting on Friday.

InterContinental Hotels Group reported a “good” third quarter on Friday, with global comparable revenue per available room up 2.3%, and ahead 2.2% in the year-to-date through the third quarter.

Rentokil reported a 13.7% rise in third-quarter ongoing revenue on Thursday as the company’s pest control division performed well.

Asset manager Schroders reported a jump in assets under management and administration in the first nine months of the year.

Domino's Pizza Group has snapped up Germany's largest pizza chain Hallo Pizza into its local franchise joint venture.

British gaming services firm Rank Group grew its revenue 2% over the 16 weeks leading to 15 October thanks to a significant increase in its digital revenue business.

AstraZeneca said on Wednesday that it and Merck & Co have been granted priority review by the US Food and Drug Administration for a supplemental new drug application for the use of Lynparza (olaparib) tablets in patients with metastatic breast cancer who have been previously treated with chemotherapy.

Spectris has completed the acquisition of privately-held US company The Omnicon Group, for an initial consideration of $29m.

FTSE 250 wealth manager Rathbone Brothers reported a jump in assets in the third quarter on Wednesday as inflows grew.

After bearing the brunt of a "soft" third quarter Reckitt Benckiser has downgraded its full year guidance, with the Vanish-to-Durex maker confident that it can overcome the continued challenging market.

Madame Tussauds and Legoland operator Merlin Entertainments disappointed with an update on its trading performance for the year to date, including the key summer period of July and August, taking the shine of new partnerships with Peppa Pig and Bear Grylls.

Rio Tinto cut its copper guidance for the year on Tuesday as it reported a drop in mined copper in the third quarter.

Pearson's underlying revenues fell 2% in the first nine months of the year, largely as expected, but the educational publisher improved its earnings guidance and promised a £300m share buyback.

FTSE 250 housebuilder Bellway reported a jump in full-year profit and revenue on Tuesday as demand for new housing remained strong.

Ultra Electronics’ Cheltenham-based Precision Control Systems business has received contracts valued $16m from Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Financial technology company NEX Group announced on Monday that - having put into motion the “significant restructure” of NEX's post-trade division 'NEX Optimisation' - Jenny Knott has decided to step down as the division's CEO.

Interserve on Monday said that it is "engaged in constructive and ongoing discussions with its lenders", confirming rumours that had been mooted in the media.

Russian miner Polymetal International continued to produce strong levels of gold in the third quarter, with production up 26% and revenues for the quarter rising 17%.

Economic news

The UK public deficit continued to shrink more than expected last month as government spending cuts continued, but the Chancellor's Budget next month is not expected to see many big fiscal giveaways.

European leaders have agreed to move internal discussions on Brexit onto issues of trade and the exit transition - but not with the UK negotiating team due to the "insufficient progress" made in negotiations.

UK retail sales fell more than expected last month, official figures confirmed on Thursday, further muddying the waters over whether the Bank of England will hike interest rates next month.

Theresa May has reassured EU citizens living in the UK that protecting their rights and the rights of Britons in Europe is her number one priority in Brexit negotiations.

UK wage growth continues to lag behind inflation, official figures showed on Wednesday, though shifts in the level of employment mean the Bank of England's decision on whether to raise rates in November is "on a knife edge", some economists feel.

According to a study published by industry regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Wednesday, an estimated 4. 1m UK residents had found themselves in financial difficulty as a result of missed utilities or credit card bills over the past year.

Major supermarket groups Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons continued to both grow sales and lose ground to discounters, with Aldi and Lidl contributing the entire grocery market's volume growth in recent weeks.

UK inflation reached a five-year high last month, increasing pressure on household budgets and the Bank of England to raise rates.

The Financial Conduct Authority has said that young people are increasingly having to borrow money in order to cover basic living costs.

Pubs, bars and restaurants last month endured their biggest sales fall in a year, with London restaurants hardest hit in an industry facing a squeezed consumer and rising costs.

International events

US President Donald Trump’s proposed tax reforms cleared a significant hurdle on Thursday as the Senate passed a blueprint budget for 2018, as the divisiveness under his administration faced thinly-veiled attacks from predecessors Barack Obama and George W Bush.

Spain’s government will force elections in Catalonia in January with the support of the official opposition, in one of the first steps toward withdrawing autonomy for the region.

China's economy continued expanding at a steady clip last quarter, although some economists believed tighter economic policy was set to weigh on the pace of expansion.

The New Zealand dollar crashed on Thursday, after it emerged that a socialist-populist coalition would be making up the country’s next government.

A key indicator of homebuilding activity in the States fell back for a third consecutive month in September, but some economists brushed off the data, saying they expected to see at least a partial rebound in coming months.

Euro area construction output shrank slightly in August amid softer activity in both building and civil engineering.

Industrial production in the US rose as expected last month but amid downwards revisions to readings for previous months, especially in manufacturing.

Dearer fuel imports boosted the cost of overseas goods last month, albeit alongside similar-sized gains in export prices.

Price pressures in China abated last month at the consumer level, even as factory gate prices jumped, as food price deflation intensified.

Factory activity in the jurisdiction of the Federal Reserve bank of New York picked up in October, the results of a widely-followed survey revealed.

More news

17 Nov Europe close: Stocks slip going into the weekend

Stocks reversed early gains as investors opted to play it safe going into the weekend and the euro edged a tad higher on the back of the political gyrations on Capitol Hill.

17 Nov Europe open: Stocks start slightly higher, analysts wary

Stocks have started the morning trading slightly higher, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street but analysts are worried about buying into Thursday's bounce.

17 Nov London close: Stocks finish week on down note

London's top flight index slipped on Friday, but managed to finish well-off its lows of the session despite renewed Brexit angst as the pound gave back early gains.

17 Nov Kingfisher gets RBC upgrade as 'reasons to be cheerful' in France

DIY retailer Kingfisher has more "reasons to be cheerful" thanks to an improving French outlook, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said on Friday, while clothes seller Supergroup remains "compelling" but its shares have gained a lot in recent weeks.

17 Nov NAV on the rise as Alpha Real Estate Trust turns focus to build-to-rent market

Real estate investment group Alpha Real Trust saw its net asset value (NAV) rise in its first half of trading as it moved to make further investments in build-to-rent projects.

17 Nov Pacific Industrial & Logistics completes sale of Bedford asset

Industrial and logistics-focussed real estate investment trust Pacific Industrial & Logistics has completed the sale of an asset located at Hammond Road, Bedford, for a total consideration of £5.8m, it announced on Friday.

17 Nov DP Poland cuts ribbon on 50th Polish Domino's store

DP Poland, which holds the exclusive master franchise for the Domino’s Pizza brand in Poland, celebrated the opening of its 50th location in the country on Friday.

17 Nov Mercia Technologies makes new investment into Aston EyeTech

National investment group Mercia Technologies has made a new direct investment into Aston EyeTech - a spinout from Aston University, Birmingham - which has developed a range of proprietary hardware and software products in ocular care, it announced on Friday.

17 Nov SimiGon receives final approval for $2m Israeli Air Force order

Modelling, simulation and training solutions provider SimiGon has now received final regulatory approval for a $2m purchase order received from the Israeli Air Force, initially announced on 20 June 2016, it confirmed on Friday.

17 Nov Agriterra losses grow after 'subdued' interest in corn products

Agricultural investment group Agriterra saw losses widen in the first half of its trading year as subdued demand for its maize flour products slashed revenues by more than a third.