Weekly review

Josh White WebFG News | 24 Nov, 2017 16:36 | | |

The FTSE 100 finished the week up 32.56 points, or 0.44%, at 7,413.24.

Equity view

Manjit Wolstenholme, the executive chairman of Provident Financial and former investment banking chief at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, has died.

Rio Tinto and China's Sinosteel Corporation have agreed to extend their Channar Mining joint venture, the pair announced on Friday.

Listed residential landlord Grainger has acquired a stabilised portfolio of three blocks in Manchester, comprising 192 private rented sector homes, for £26m, it announced on Friday.

James Fisher and Sons posted a rise in revenue on Friday but warned that the full-year contribution from its offshore oil division will be lower than last year.

Moody's upgraded the corporate family rating (CFR) of mining group Vedanta Resources on Monday as stabilising commodity prices looked set to enhance the company's EBITDA and cash flow generation.

Paragon Banking Group posted a rise in full-year profit on Thursday thanks to a solid performance across its business lines.

Severn Trent lifted its forecast for regulatory incentives after a strong first half of the year, where a solid increase in sales and good growth in underlying earnings prompted the water and waste supplier to hike the dividend 6.2%.

GlaxoSmithKline, along with its partner Innoviva, announced the filing of a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) with the US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, for the use of Trelegy Ellipta (fluticasone furoate/umeclidinium/vilanterol).

Hammerson has sold its 64.5% share of the Place des Halles shopping centre in Strasbourg, France for a total net vendor price of £258m, slightly above June's book value.

United Utilities profit rose 10% in the first half as the water and waste management company increased revenue and cut costs.

Housebuilder and regeneration partner Countryside Properties posted a rise in annual operating profit on Wednesday as revenue and completions grew amid strong demand.

Sage Group kept revenue growth and margins above their annual target and said the launch of its Business Cloud software suite would enable it to "accelerate momentum" in 2018.

Catering group Compass posted a rise in full-year profit on Tuesday as revenue grew thanks in part to a solid performance in North America.

EasyJet's annual profit fell as chief executive Carolyn McCall prepared to leave after seven years in charge but the budget carrier said it was benefiting from the collapse of rival airlines.

Building materials group CRH said on Tuesday that it continues to expect "another year of progress" as it reported an increase in sales for the first nine months.

BHP Billiton said its Samarco joint venture had agreed an extended timeline for negotiating almost $54bn (£41bn) of claims related to devastation caused by a collapsed dam in Brazil.

Eastern Europe-focussed low cost airline Wizz Air announced a massive expansion at its Luton base on Monday, with the addition of four Airbus A320 aircraft to its Luton fleet by June 2018.

Financial technology company Nex Group posted a drop in first-half profit on Monday amid challenging market conditions.

Energy services firm John Wood Group began operations on a multi-million dollar contract on Monday that would see it act as the operating partner of the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation (SAGE) system and Beryl pipeline.

Tritax Big Box announced on Monday that it has exchanged contracts to acquire three properties in Harlow, Worksop and Carlisle Lake District Airport on Monday.

Economic news

UK consumer confidence has plumbed new depths in November, new research showed on Friday, falling to the lowest level since the Brexit referendum.

UK mortgage approvals fell more than expected in October, according to figures released by UK Finance.

UK car production bounced back last month thanks to an increase in exports, the industry’s trade association revealed on Thursday.

According to Budget documents released this week, Chancellor Philip Hammond is preparing to reprivatise the Royal Bank of Scotland by selling £15bn worth of shares the government picked up when bailing out the lender nearly a decade ago.

A range of new housing policies were proposed by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Budget statement, including more funds for smaller housebuilder, a probe into potential holding of land by major housebuilders and a stamp duty cut for first-time buyers.

Philip Hammond scrapped stamp duty on almost all first-time property purchases as he sought to inject good news into his Budget after a series of cuts to the outlook for the economy.

UK manufacturing output growth has leapt to a 29-year high as the weak pound drives export demand, though Brexit uncertainty is holding back investment.

Senior ministers have backed Theresa May's plan to double Britain's offer of payment to leave the EU to €40bn, reports said.

According to a recent survey by IHS Markit, household budgets had been squeezed dry as Britons found it increasingly difficult to borrow.

British Airways's plans to introduce a policy whereby those purchasing the cheapest tickets will be called last has prompted a a very negative reactions from its passengers.

International events

German business confidence unexpectedly improved in November, according to a widely-followed survey released on Friday.

Italian industrial sales and orders in the euro area's third-largest economy shrank in September.

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.

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.

Consumer confidence in the single currency bloc shot higher in November, according to the executive arm of the European Union.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell a touch more than expected last week, according to data from the Labor Department.

Sales of US existing homes rose more than expected in October, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Australian interest rates could remain at their record lows for up to a year more, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the President of Germany, said on Monday that he expected all parties elected to parliament to make every effort to enable the formation of a government after coalition talks fell apart earlier in the day.

Factory gate price increases in the euro area's largest economy slowed down by a tad less than expected in October.

More news

15 Dec London close: Footsie gains as pound drops, Wall Street hits fresh highs

The top flight index recovered some ground on Friday, but mostly on account of weakness in Sterling after German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly echoed other European Union officials, saying "the most difficult phase is ahead of us".

15 Dec Week ahead: US data, Catalan elections in focus

The focus in the coming week will continue to be on the ebb and flow of data out of the US, including Republicans' progress on securing passage of their tax cuts.

15 Dec US open: Stocks jump as Republicans move to secure passage of tax cuts

Wall Street is heading higher again on Friday amid news that Republicans were tweaking their proposed tax cuts in order to secure prompt passage of the US tax bill.

15 Dec Airbus chief executive to step down in board shake-up

The chief executive of French planemaker Airbus will step down from his position in 2019 as the company announced a major shake-up of its management team.

15 Dec FTSE 250 movers: TalkTalk rises but Serco gives back gains

London’s FTSE 250 was up 0.1% to 20,023.23 in afternoon trade on Friday as the Christmas lull kicked in.

15 Dec US industrial production rises slightly less than expected in November

Industrial production in the States rose slightly less quickly than expected last month, despite higher output of business equipment and materials.

15 Dec Strategic Minerals renegotiates acquisition of Leigh Creek Copper Mine

Diversified mineral production and development company Strategic Minerals announced on Friday that, after the successful completion of technical and financial due diligence on the Leigh Creek Copper Mine company, it has agreed to continue with the acquisition on renegotiated terms.

15 Dec FTSE 100 movers: Sky jumps but retailers retreat on H&M sales

London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 7,469.23 in quiet afternoon trade on Friday.

15 Dec Gfinity partners with Microsoft for next Halo World Championship

International esports entertainment group Gfinity has been named as a preferred event partner to Microsoft for the forthcoming ‘Halo World Championship 2018’ for the next season, it announced on Friday.

15 Dec Hutchison Chi-Med begins fruquintinib trial in US

Hutchison China MediTech, known as Chi-Med, has initiated the United States Phase I bridging clinical trial of fruquintinib, it announced on Friday.