Weekly review

Josh White WebFG News | 17 Nov, 2017 16:55 - Updated: 16:55 | | |

The FTSE 100 finished the week down 6.26 points, or 0.08%, at 7,380.68.

Equity view

Construction and maintenance group Kier made a smooth start to the year and said it is confident of delivering double-digit profit growth, with even stronger visibility on revenues.

Rentokil Initial has agreed the issue of a €400m 0. 95% bond, it announced on Friday, due 22 November 2024.

Ferrexpo has signed a new secured three year revolving credit facility of $195m that will be used for general corporate purposes.

Carillion warned on Friday that full-year profits will be “materially lower” than current market expectations and that it now expects to breach its covenants.

Prudential said on Thursday that life insurance new business profit rose 17% in the first nine months of the year, reflecting higher sales and more favourable economic conditions.

GlaxoSmithKline and Innoviva have been granted marketing authorisation by the European Commission for their Trelegy Ellipta once-daily single inhaler triple therapy for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The Competition and Markets Authority has unconditionally cleared Just Eat’s acquisition of Hungryhouse, saying the deal does not raise any competition concerns.

BHP Billiton's chairman said the miner expects economic volatility to persist as the US, Europe and China face challenging transitions.

Legal & General Group announced on Wednesday that Legal & General Investment Management Holdings has entered into an agreement to acquire Canvas, the established exchange traded fund platform of ETF Securities, for an undisclosed consideration.

AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, announced on Wednesday that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Fasenra (benralizumab) for the add-on maintenance treatment of patients with severe asthma aged 12 years and older, and with an eosinophilic phenotype.

Housebuilder Barratt Developments said on Wednesday that it has made a strong start to the year and remains confident of delivering a good performance in FY18.

Vedanta Resources confirmed on Wednesday that the State Pollution Control Board in the Indian state of Odisha, through its order on 10 November, has revoked the closure order on the remaining two power units that were shut down as directed by them on 13 September.

Diversified engineer Smiths Group reported a drop in revenue for the first quarter on Tuesday but reiterated its expectations for the full year.

Vodafone reported a 4.1% fall in group total revenue to €23. 1bn in its first half on Tuesday, which it said was primarily due to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and foreign exchange movements.

Aviva has reached an agreement to acquire Irish insurer Friends First Life Assurance Company for a cash consideration of €130m, it announced on Tuesday.

Support services company DCC posted a rise in first-half profit on Tuesday thanks to a solid performance across its divisions.

Funeral services provider Dignity reported an increase in revenue and profit in the third quarter, even as the number of deaths was broadly flat.

Old Mutual announced on Monday that the sale of the second tranche of OM Asset Management shares to HNA Capital US has completed.

Softcat, which provides IT infrastructure products and services, has announced the appointment of Graeme Watt as chief executive with effect from 1 April 2018, replacing Martin Hellawell.

Polymetal International reported the initial ore reserve estimate for its Nezhda gold property on Monday, in accordance with the JORC Code, confirming that open-pit ore reserves were estimated at 15. 5 Mt of ore with an average gold equivalent grade of 4. 0 grams per tonne for 2. 0 Moz of gold equivalent contained.

Economic news

Retail sales on the high street fell for the fifth week out of six, a survey from BDO showed on Friday, showing the sharp slip from boom to decline in the sector over the course of a year due to the squeeze on households incomes.

Credit card providers have agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority to ask customers' permission before raising their credit card limits, after research found this was a contributing factor to debt problems for many people.

UK retail sales bounced back more than expected last month but showed the first annual decline in four and a half years, with the prognosis for the sector remaining grim amid the ongoing squeeze of household budgets.

Prime Minister Theresa May is mulling a potential £20m increase to the Brexit 'divorce bill' to the European Union in order to move talks onto the next stage, according to a newspaper report on Thursday.

UK average wage growth has persisted in wallowing below inflation, official figures showed on Wednesday, while the employment market showed signs of faltering.

Home ownership is crowding out other forms of long-term savings and investment with potentially damaging effects on pension savings and the wider UK economy, research suggests.

The Bank of England on Tuesday announced that paper £10 notes, which feature a picture of Charles Darwin, will cease to be legal tender after 1 March 2018.

The City watchdog will begin policing firms offering binary options from January and issued a warning to consumers about the risk of investing in such high-risk, speculative products.

UK consumer price inflation has unexpectedly held steady at its five-year high, confounding predictions from the Bank of England.

Brexit minister David Davis has confirmed that the final deal to exit from the European Union will form a separate piece of legislation that must be debated by both houses of Parliament before the final divorce date.

PM Theresa May met with business leaders from the UK and the EU on Monday, with a top European representative saying she is ‘extremely’ concerned with the progress made thus far on Brexit.

International events

EU Council President Donald Tusk warned Theresa May on Friday that she had just two weeks to offer more money to the UK's Brexit divorce bill if there was to be any hope of trade talks beginning before the year's end.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe remains under house arrest in the capital of Harare as citizens of the country wait on the next move of the army.

The European Commission and China have agreed to cooperate on trade and competition, after the two sides set up a dialogue on state aid.

Consumer prices in the euro dipped in October amid broad-based declines outside of food, alcohol and tobacco.

The US central bank should be willing to allow inflation to run moderately above its target and say so clearly, a top official said.

The single currency bloc's trade surplus in goods with the rest of the world jumped in September to its highest level on record as import demand fell off.

China's economy slowed further in October with economists eyeing scope for further cooling ahead.

The rate of growth in Germany's gross domestic product accelerated over the three months to September, on the back of stronger foreign demand and investment.

A massive earthquake has struck near the border between Iran and Iraq, leaving 348 people dead.

More news

12:15 US pre-open: Stocks to edge up as investors put aside tax bill concerns

US futures pointed to a positive open on Wall Street on Friday as investors brushed aside worries about the passage of the US tax bill.

11:48 Bacanora Minerals agrees 20% placing, lithium offtake deal with Japanese investor

Bacanora Minerals has sold a large chunk of shares and agreed an off-take deal with an overseas institutional investor as it seeks to develop its lithium project in Mexico.

11:25 Assystem Technologies makes £281m bid for SQS

SQS Software Quality Systems announced on Friday that it has reached agreement with Bidco on the terms of a recommended all-cash offer to be made by Bidco for the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of SQS it does not not already own.

11:01 Active Energy's CoalSwitch gets thumbs-up from Utah Governor's Office

Biomass based renewable energy and forestry management company Active Energy has received a letter of support from the Governor's Office of Energy Development in Utah, it said on Friday, regarding Advanced Biomass Solutions’ plans for the ‘CoalSwitch’ plant.

10:57 Luceco issues profit warning after accounting error

Manufacturer and distributor of LED lighting products, Luceco, updated the market on its for the year to 31 December on Friday, reporting that it has seen gross margins weaken during the second half of the year.

10:53 Ortac's Casa Mining identifies 'significant' additional gold mineralisation

Ortac Resources announced on Friday that Casa Mining, in which it currently holds an effective 84.7% economic stake, has completed a review of previous exploration activity in the Akyanga license area.

10:49 Path enters conditional farm-in deal with 5P Energy

Path Investments has entered into a conditional farm-in agreement with 5P Energy, it announced on Friday, in relation to the potential acquisition of a 50% participating interest in a producing gas field - the Alfeld-Elze II Licence and Gas Field in Germany.

10:46 Segro boosted by Liberum upgrade to 'buy'

Segro got a boost on Friday as Liberum upgraded the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ and hiked the price target to 640p from 505p as it upgraded its net asset value forecasts by around 7%.

10:17 Trinity Mirror reports mixed sales news as Northern & Shell talks progress

Trinity Mirror said it was making "good progress" with talks to acquire the Daily Express and Daily Star and that digital revenues had risen in the fourth quarter but overall sales were lower.

12:18 Brexit: EU leaders agree to move talks onto second phase

European Union leaders have agreed to start the next phase of Brexit negotiations on Friday, having given Prime Minister Theresa May's overnight speech a warm reception.