Weekly review

Josh White WebFG News | 03 Nov, 2017 16:52 | | |

The FTSE 100 finished the week up 55.55 points, or 0.74%, at 7,560.35.

Equity view

Centrica said it has bought European demand response aggregator REstore, for €70m (£62m) in cash.

Smith & Nephew said its full year profits to be at the lower end of its full year targets after a third quarter where growth was flat outside US and emerging markets but its artificial hips business returned to growth.

TP ICAP updated the market on its third quarter on Friday, reporting revenue of £420m in the three months to 30 September - 3% higher than the £406m pro forma revenue in the same period last year and 2% higher at constant exchange rates.

Investors waiting for the £1.5bn initial public offer of Arqiva and the £100m float of Bakkavor will have to wait wait a little bit longer.

Wm Morrison said it had strong momentum for the Christmas trading period after sales rose in the third quarter.

Randgold Resources posted a drop in profit and production for the third quarter, but said it was on track to meet its 2017 guidance.

Acacia Mining's chief executive Brad Gordon and chief financial officer Andrew Wray have both jumped ship just days after the miner's parent company caved in to the Tanzanian government in the midst of a months-long dispute over gold exports.

RSA Insurance Group reported “continued progress” at the end of its third quarter, despite hurricane costs in the period, with group premium income up 8% in the year-to-date or 3% at constant exchange rates.

AstraZeneca issued a slew of announcements on Wednesday morning, with the first confirming that the US Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to Calquence (acalabrutinib).

Irish packaging company Smurfit Kappa posted a rise in third-quarter revenue on Wednesday as it announced acquisitions in Greece and Russia to expand the group's footprint.

SEGRO has acquired a fully let 390,000 square foot big box warehouse in the Midlands region from Legal & General’s LGIM Real Assets, it announced on Wednesday, in exchange for Kingsland Business Park, which is a multi-let industrial estate in Basingstoke, and a balancing cash payment.

Safety, health and environment technology group Halma has completed the acquisition of Mini-Cam from Lloyds Development Capital and a group of private shareholders for an initial cash consideration of £62m.

SigmaRoc, the buy-and-build construction materials group announced the acquisition of Topcrete Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary Allen Concrete Limited on Monday.

Anglo-Swiss commodity trading and mining group Glencore said on Tuesday that it plans to delist its shares from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the end of January next year.

BP announced a plan to buy back shares as Britain's second-biggest oil company beat expectations for third-quarter profit.

FTSE 250 packaging company DS Smith said trading in the half-year was in line with its expectations, with return on average capital employed at the upper end of the target range.

EasyJet has swooped to acquire part of the collapsed Air Berlin's operations in Berlin for €40m and aims to hire around 1,000 pilots and cabin crew who are still employed by the German carrier.

Glencore issued its third quarter production numbers on Monday, reporting own sourced copper production of 946,500 tonnes, which was 11% lower than the comparable 2016 period.

Led by its "pivot" back to Asia, HSBC continued to grow revenues across its three main businesses in the third quarter but increased investment and bonuses kept underlying profits flat.

Millennium & Copthorne reported a jump in third-quarter pre-tax profit on Monday, helped along by solid growth in New York.

Economic news

The Bank of England's indication on Thursday that it will raise Bank Rate twice more by the end of 2020 is not set in stone, one of its top decision-makers said on Friday.

UK services growth accelerated more than expected in October, a survey of the country's largest sector revealed on Friday, though economists were divided on the implications as confidence about future growth remained weak.

MPs have criticised the chancellor over his commitment to encouraging diversity at the Bank of England.

UK house prices continued to rise modestly in October, according to data from Nationwide, though a likely interest rate hike from the Bank of England could soon weigh on the sector.

UK manufacturing activity and input prices both increased more than expected in October, a survey revealed on Wednesday, which was felt likely to increase the Bank of England's confidence about raising interest rates and its concerns about inflation.

Competition for household energy customers is weak and high prices paid by vulnerable people is unacceptable, the industry regulator said.

As many as 75,000 jobs in the UK’s financial sector could be lost as a result of Brexit, officials at the Bank of England have reportedly warned.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has implied further uncertainty surrounding the bank’s investment in the UK, saying Brexit has left "so much outside our control".

Money and credit figures from the Bank of England showed levels of consumer lending remained little changed, with no dramatic news to derail a likely nudge higher to interest rates later this week.

International events

The US president has chosen Jerome Powell to succeed Janet Yellen at the head of the US central bank in what many observers see as the "continuist" option, although for some analysts he also has a "softer" approach when it comes to financial sector regulation.

Protesters have taken to the streets across Catalonia after eight former members of the regional government were sent to jail, the majority without bail, after being charged for rebellion, sedition and the misuse of public funds.

The UK construction downturn unexpectedly eased a little last month, according to an industry survey on Thursday, though confidence in the outlook waned to almost a five-year low.

US non-farm labour productivity picked up in the third quarter as output picked up much more rapidly than the number of hours worked.

Joblessness in Ireland fell again last month, continuing the steady yet sharp downward trend which has been in place over recent years.

Moody's, one of the world's largest ratings agencies, reaffirmed its current 'junk' rating for debt issued by the Spanish region of Catalonia, emphasising the "rapidly deteriorating" economic environment and "fundamentally weak" finances and already "very high" debt burden.

Bitcoin prices set a fresh record higher after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange unveiled plans to launch futures on the crypto-currency before the year was out.

US consumer confidence shot higher in October, led by a particularly large improvement in expectations, reaching its highest level since 2000, the results of a widely-followed survey showed.

Personal consumption in the US shot higher last month, easily outpacing expectations, as Americans dug into their savings to finance a sharp increase in spending on durable goods, especially on vehicles after recent hurricanes.

Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump’s election campaign, has handed himself in to the FBI after being indicted as part of an investigation into Russian meddling into last year’s election.

More news

23 Nov Sector movers: Centrica, China sink utilities and banks

Defensive areas of the market performed best on Thursday, aside from utilities that is, as shares of Centrica crumbled.

23 Nov Morgan Stanley reaffirms 'buy' on ITV

Analysts at Morgan Stanley stuck by their 'buy' recommendation on shares of ITV and 230p target price, pointing to nine different factors to back up their investment thesis.

23 Nov Europe close: Stocks finish near highs, China woes and euro gains weigh on German shares

Stocks finished near their best levels of the day, having mounted a comeback following early weakness that was attributed to an overnight drop in Chinese equities on the heels of continued upwards pressure on bond yields in the Asian giant.

23 Nov Europe midday: German political progress and strong PMIs offset drop in Chinese stocks

Stocks are mounting a comeback following early weakness that some market commentary is attributing to an overnight drop in Chinese equities on the heels of continued upwards pressure on bond yields in the Asian giant.

23 Nov South African Reserve Bank pauses interest rates ahead of debt rating decision

South Africa's central bank opted to leave interest rates on hold on Thursday, but the country is still facing several hurdles on Friday when several key ratings agencies are set to choose whether to downgrade the country's debt.

23 Nov Canadian retail sales held back by declines in vehicles and clothing

Recently collated data from Statistics Canada revealed a significantly lower than expected rise in Canadian retail sales in September, as gains from higher gasoline prices were offset by declines in sales of vehicles and clothing.

23 Nov Greencoat Renewables announces maiden dividend of 2.61 euro cents

Between 15 February and 30 September, renewable infrastructure company Greencoat Renewables's portfolio, made up of wind farms that listed on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges in July of 2017, generated 107.7GWh of electricity, which was 3% above budget for the period.

23 Nov Belgian business confidence rises above forecasts in November

Business confidence in Belgium rose more than expected in November, led by a sharp improvement in sentiment in busines-related services and construction.

23 Nov Commodities: weaker dollar helps gold stay put

The greenback weakened against a basket of currencies on Thursday with the dollar index dropping 0.11% to 93.117 by 1715 GMT, it's lowest level in more than a month.

23 Nov Bonds: Gilts underperform amid Brexit talks optimism, Budget

These were the yields on some of the most widely-followed 10-year sovereign bond yields: US: 2.32% (-4bp)UK: 1.28% (+1bp)Germany: 0.35% (+0bp)France: 0.67% (-1bp)Spain: 1.45% (-3bp) Italy: 1.77% (-1bp)Portugal: 1.91% (-1bp)Greece: 5.37% (+3bp)Japan: 0.03% (-0bp)