Weekly review

Josh White WebFG News | 27 Oct, 2017 16:59 | | |

The FTSE 100 finished the week down 12.91 points, or 0.17%, at 7,505.03.

Equity view

British Airways and Iberia parent International Consolidated Airlines Group reported a 20. 7% jump in third-quarter operating profit on Friday, helped along by lower fuel costs.

Following the recent announcement that Will Gardiner will succeed Dorothy Thompson as chief executive officer of Drax Group from 1 January, the company’s board said it is progressing a process to appoint a permanent chief financial officer “as soon as practicable” on Friday.

IT infrastructure services provider Computacenter reported a 27% improvement in overall revenue in its third quarter to £931m on Friday, or a 20% uplift in constant currency.

Speciality chemicals company Elementis performed in line with expectations in the third quarter, it said on Friday, reportedly seeing a continuation of the trends it experienced in the first half of the year.

Department store chain Debenhams reported a drop in full-year profit on Thursday but sounded an upbeat note on its outlook.

Information and analytics company Relx Group reported continued underlying revenue growth in the first nine months of 2017 in a trading update on Wednesday, reaffirming its outlook for the full year.

Third quarter profits at Barclays were lower than expected as its investment banking business faced difficult markets that was only partly offset by an improvement in the UK bank and the consumer credit arm.

Motor dealer and distributor Inchcape continued to growth sales at double digit rates in the third quarter, which reassured investors spooked by a warning from UK-focused rival Pendragon earlier in the week.

British American Tobacco expects to make more than £5bn a year in revenue from e-cigarettes and other so-called next generation products within five years, the company said on Wednesday.

Virgin Money is in talks to make former HSBC banker Irene Dorner its next chairman in a move that would assemble the first all-female leadership team at a major British bank.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo posted a rise in the production of silver and gold for the third quarter on Wednesday as it said it remains on course to achieve its output targets for 2017.

Tritax Big Box has completed contracts with ProLogis European Finance XI Sarl to acquire two modern big box logistics facilities at Prologis Park, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, let to Marks and Spencer and Dunelm, it announced on Wednesday morning.

Distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl reported a rise in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday as it continues to eye further acquisitions.

Anglo American posted increased output of copper and diamonds for the latest three-month stretch, albeit alongside declines in production of iron ore, thermal coal and nickel.

Carillion said it has agreed to sell a large part of its UK healthcare facilities management business to Serco for £50. 1m, as it announced new financing and contract wins.

First half results from Whitbread showed evidence of a slight summer slowdown, with revenues at its Premier Inn hotels and Costa Coffee arms both softening but tight cost control percolating through to a solid profit performance.

Broadcast and mobile masts company Arqiva has announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange in a £6bn listing.

Baking ingredients business Real Good Food warned on Monday that it will report a loss for the year as higher costs and currency movements take their toll.

Merrill Lynch International has been hit with a large fine by the City watchdog for failing to report details of millions of financial transactions.

Car dealership Pendragon warned on Monday that full-year profit will be hit by weaker new car demand and pricing on used cars, as it announced that chairman Mel Egglenton has stepped down with immediate effect.

Economic news

The Competition and Markets Authority has announced plans to investigate hotel booking sites to find out whether customers are being misled.

UK real wages fell for the first time in three years as inflation outpaced earnings, according to the Office of National Statistics.

UK retail sales are tumbling faster than at any time since the height of the financial crisis as industry pay rises faster than the rest of the economy, two industry surveys revealed on Thursday.

UK car manufacturing output has fallen for the fifth month in 2017, driven by double-digit declines in domestic sales.

The UK economy grew slightly more than expected in the last quarter, official estimates revealed on Wednesday, paving the way for the first Bank of England interest rate hike in over a decade.

Businesses have borrowed less and saved more during the course of 2017 amid uncertainty about prospects for the economy, industry figures show.

Parliament may not get to vote on the terms of Brexit until after Britain has left the EU, David Davis said on Wednesday.

Growth in UK manufacturing activity unexpectedly softened in the three months to October, but remains “historically robust”, according to the latest survey from the Confederation of British Industry.

The government has proposed a major state housebuilding push to ease the housing crisis, with one side-effect being an end to the "cosy and golden trading climate" that large building companies currently enjoy.

International events

The Catalan parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain as Mariano Rajoy's government prepares to introduce direct rule to the region.

The US economy grew more than expected in the third quarter, according to the first estimate released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

Consumer confidence in the euro area's largest economy dipped in November but continued to point towards continued strong growth, the results of a widely-followed survey revealed.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week, according to data from the Labor Department.

US President Donald Trump has come under intense criticism from senators within his own Republican party, one of which accused him of being "dangerous to democracy".

Chinese president Xi Jinping has paved the way for an extended time in charge of the country after no heir apparent was named as part of the new Politburo standing committee confirmed at the Communist Party conference.

Israeli lawmakers unanimously outlawed the country's binary options industry, which some local authorities said had links to organised crime.

Eurozone growth continues on a tear, with data on Tuesday showing the services sector slowing slightly and manufacturing activity accelerating.

Saudi Arabia has earmarked $500bn of investment and agreed with neighbours Egypt and Jordan to set aside a 'beautiful and breezy' plot of land to develop technology in nine sectors "targeting the future of human civilisation" as part of the new 'NEOM' project launched on Tuesday.

Don't fret if you've been left out of the latest reflation rally in stocks, strategists at JP Morgan are telling clients, because it is not too late to join in.

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.